The Rub on Health Care

So, Ron Paul, despite my disagreement with him on health care, shows the ideological difference in the health care debate. His title says it all: “Healthcare is a Good, Not a Right.”

Talk all you want about cost, but “good v. right” “corporate v. government” is essentially the argument between the two parties. There is a distinct belief that a government bureaucracy is worse than a corporate one. As well, that modicum of thought leads us to consider that the real problem with American healthcare is that it’s not “free-market” enough. Well, why don’t you let us know what regulations are holding it down?

Apart from answering what regulations are holding us back, whether something is a “good” or a “right” is beside the point. What differs in opinion here is whether you feel that the healthcare industry in its current incarnation is actually being able to serve everyone.

In all honesty, there are factors that certainly hurt the idea of “free-market” healthcare. The one I most often cite is that health insurance works in a stark contrast to automotive insurance. At least automotive insurance pretends to compete. At least it has some semblance of trying to work to insure even the most horrific drivers known to man.

And lest we not forget the most important road blocks in health care. There are items like “pre-existing” conditions or people who simply get too sick to be insured. That’s huge. What choice do people have other than frankly, not being able to afford a procedure that they need? What’s next for these people? Bankruptcy? Well, I guess they shouldn’t have gotten sick. Losers.

No other first world country has people going into bankruptcy because of their health. If we put someone on camera in front of congress, how could they answer that dropping people and having someone die from that drop in coverage is socially acceptable? Well, they did put some CEOs in front of a congressional committee, and they answered those questions with precise legalese. We did it because it was legal, and we’re not obligated to save lives, we’re obligated to our shareholders.

Bryan Caplan tries to show us another sideto the argument, by stating that:
When Walt finally tells his family about his illness, he gets almost no genuine sympathy.  Instead, his family bullies him into accepting painful, expensive treatments that are almost certain to fail.
While I agree with Bryan later when he writes that the character’s family is pretty selfish in trying to keep him alive, I do not think that’s what we’re trying to do with bringing healthcare to everyone. The way I see it, I just want to make sure people don’t go into bankruptcy over their health. Let’s think about it, your life is saved, but ruined at the exact same time. Great news, I’m alive, but I have nothing but bills to live for.

Now, a contrarian would say, “How is that different than any other day of an American’s life?”

My point is this, somewhere along the line, people have seen others who did not want to die, and who were left out by our current healthcare system. In other countries, they’re saying, “Oh well, it’s a shame we have to tax as much as we do, but that’s the system.” In the U.S., it seems as though we’re saying, “Oh well, it’s a shame some have to die unnecessarily, but that’s the system.”

Talk about Pro Life.


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