08 January 2008

Let God sort them out

Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, has spelled out the healthcare solution for Republicans. They've got to come out strong against the pernicious idea that healthcare is some kind of right. This is the only thing that will get government out of healthcare and allow people to die in the streets. Where hopefully their families will remove the bodies, since that's not exactly an appropriate government function either, is it?

Gotta love those libertarians. They see things so clearly. I bet no amount of carnage could persuade Yaron differently Let them all die, he won't be moved. Yaron writes:
The solution to this ongoing crisis is to recognize that the very idea of a "right" to health care is a perversion. There can be no such thing as a "right" to products or services created by the effort of others, and this most definitely includes medical products and services. Rights, as our founding fathers conceived them, are not claims to economic goods, but freedoms of action.

You are free to see a doctor and pay him for his services--no one may forcibly prevent you from doing so. But you do not have a "right" to force the doctor to treat you without charge or to force others to pay for your treatment. The rights of some cannot require the coercion and sacrifice of others.

So long as Republicans fail to challenge the concept of a "right" to health care, their appeals to "market-based" solutions are worse than empty words. They will continue to abet the Democrats' expansion of government interference in medicine, right up to the dead end of a completely socialized system.
Contrast that with this sensible article that Don McCanne of PNHP sent out via his wonderful Quote-of-the-Day service:
January 2, 2008
Market Justice and US Health Care
By Peter P. Budetti, MD, JD

In the United States, health care competes for consumers with other items in the marketplace. Individual resources and choices determine the distribution of health are, with little sense of collective obligation or a role for government. Known as market justice, this approach derives from principles of individualism, self-interest, personal effort, and voluntary behavior. The contrasting approach, social justice, allocates goods and services according to the individual's needs. It stems from principles of shared responsibility and concern for the communal well-being, with government as the vehicle for ensuring equity. Social justice in health care requires universal coverage and ensured access to care, whether through social insurance, private insurance, or some combination.

The End of Market Justice

The dominance of market justice as the vehicle for allocating health resources in the United States has been associated with numerous troubling characteristics of its health system. The US population has clearly rejected using pure market justice to apportion health care goods and services, yet has expressed no collective demand that
society achieve equity through social justice. The general public has insisted on the buffer of insurance, but has focused on coverage for individuals and their respective families, not the population as a whole. Consequently, health care coverage, although desired by the vast majority of Americans, is incomplete. Now, the key element, employment-based insurance, is disintegrating in both the population that is covered and the benefits provided.

Simultaneously, health care has become a valuable commodity that created enormously influential vested commercial interests with little motive to abandon market justice. Medicine, which might have played a role in promoting social justice, has not done so, and has been transformed by the imperatives of market justice. Fragmented and struggling to come to terms with externally imposed pressures, medicine is losing both its political force and moral compass. The medicalization of health has simultaneously enhanced the investment in health care goods and services while distracting clinicians and policy makers from attention to the needs for health promotion and disease prevention and constraining the capacity to meet the expanding challenges to public health. Market justice may have outlived its role in US health care.
That appeared in JAMA, but there's a firewall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Brook is not a libetarian. He is an Objectivist. Don't confuse the two. Look them up.