Saturday, June 02, 2007

Health Care For All?

Sandy Szwarc at JunkfoodScience.com takes a long look at the issue of "Healthcare for all". I highly recommend reading the whole thing. She looks at the Universal plan about to go into effect in Massachusetts, examines the proposed plans of Minnesota and California, comments on Canada's system and reviews the latest version of Hillary care.

Ms Szwarc does a good job of presenting the practical case against such socialized health care; such as how it leads to rationed medicine, how it invites the government into your house to monitor your personal lifestyle and many other undesirable consequences. Looking at the broader picture she writes:
One misconception among consumers is that the free market system hasn’t worked, so the government must step in. But we don’t have a free market system with health insurance. A free market system only works if it’s allowed to exist unfettered from government mandates that limit competition and allow certain companies to monopolize markets. The government has catered to special interests and created an insurer managed care system, which has resulted in higher premium costs and more people uninsured. Those who want affordable insurance alone, without a third-party managed care bureaucracy standing between them and their doctor, find it unavailable. Under the current managed care environment, it’s impossible to obtain insurance that stays out of your private life and doesn’t penalize you for a lifestyle or if you’re unlucky enough to have genes that make your health indices (BMI, cholesterol, etc.) targets for intervention.
Aside from being wrong on practical grounds, such 'healthcare for all' plans are immoral. They coax people into surrendering their mind, physical health and political freedom to a body empowered with a legal monopoly on the use of force. This is Intellectual, physical, moral and political suicide.

She did quote a RN, Twila Brase as saying that such a system would "violate individual rights" among other things. This is true. It is a violation of everyone's rights to be forced to pay for everyone else's healthcare and as such, immoral. Only a totally private healthcare system can be economically fair and morally just.

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(Noodle Food reports that their own Paul Hsieh, a doctor, had his LTE on Colorado's attempt to bring "universal coverage" to that state printed in the Rocky Mountain News. He makes the following good point among others:
Socialized medicine is not the cure for Colorado's health care problems. Forcing everyone into a government-run medical program because some people are uninsured would be just as wrong as forcing everyone to live in a government-run housing project because some people are homeless.
I urge reading the whole letter.)

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