Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Answer to "Our Uncontrolled Healthcare Expenditures" is Free Market, Not Single Payer, Health Care

Another statist, Jack Bernard—who claims to be a Republican—is the latest to criticize ObamaCare and call for single-payer (Medicare for All) as a means for Tackling our uncontrolled health care expenditures.

There's nothing new in what he says. Health care costs are soaring under the status quo, and ObamaCare does little to contain those costs. 

I posted this lengthy rebuttal:

Time to Stand Up for Truly Free Markets 

Having caused the cost of healthcare to skyrocket due to an unholy combination of government intrusions—socialist government programs, the semi-socialist (i.e., fascist) government-controlled "private" health insurance, the 3rd-party-payer system, and myriad regulations and restrictions—state supremacists are now proposing that the solution to the problems government caused is totalitarian government control.

The false alternative presented by statists is; the semi-socialist status quo, or full socialized medicine. The third, and only moral, alternative is never mentioned—rights-protecting free markets. 

Other countries dove headlong into socialized medicine from relatively free markets. But not the U.S., where Americans wisely rejected that approach. So, socialists had an alternate plan; sneak in socialized medicine bit by bit, slowly crippling our relatively free healthcare market under government chains and shackles—then, claim that freedom has failed. ObamaCare is just another step in the process. It is not designed to fix anything. It is designed to further cripple American healthcare, so that statists can trot out their final dream. 

The alternative to both the status quo and fully socialized medicine is capitalistic free markets—which means, a choice between slavery to the state or individual rights. Free markets means no Medicare, SCHIP, or the like; no insurance mandates and regulations; no third-party-payer system; deregulation; and, above all, the rejection of the idea that anyone's need is a moral claim on others. 

Health care cost is not a national issue. It is an individual issue, which each individual and family must deal with and plan for in his own way, through voluntary, mutually beneficial contractual relationships with providers and/or insurers. When the government deals with costs, it will have to assume control of who gets what healthcare, at what price, and when. This will strip consumers of the right to act on their own judgment, and enslave doctors to bureaucratic bean counters lacking any focus on the needs of individual patients, who become just a number. 

Of course, the incentives inherent in a free market—producers striving to expand sales in order to maximize profits, and consumers striving to get the most for their money—leads inexorably to rising quality and falling costs over time, as the history and theory of free markets prove. Today Americans spend nearly 20% of GDP on healthcare, nearly $10,000 for every man, woman, and child. When you consider that nearly 90 % of that spending is by 3rd parties, rather than the productive Americans who earned, it's ridiculous to say that people left free to spend their own money wouldn't be able to afford adequate healthcare. Who supplies that 20% to 3rd parties to begin with? The truth is, in a free market, very few people would be left without adequate healthcare; and for those or truly can't, ample private charity would be available. 

But in the end, there are no unchosen moral obligations.People have a right to their own lives, not to expect others to provide for whatever of their needs they can't or won't meet. And neither does the government have a right to force some to be subservient to others' needs. The choice is fundamentally a moral one, if we are to avoid the fate advocated by Mr. Bernard and his ilk: Take control of your own healthcare, which is your moral right and responsibility, or submit to state control for the sake of people who don't.

There's an old saying: If socialized medicine is so bad, where are all of the victims? Answer; they're all dead. It's easy for a totalitarian bureaucracy to cut costs; efficiently deny and ration care. That's where we're heading, unless we reverse course. It won't work to oppose single payer and defend the status quo, just like it didn't work to oppose ObamaCare by defending the status quo. Now, liberty lovers must stand up for fully free markets, as the only fair, practical, and moral course of action. There is nothing moral about trampling peoples' rights under government bureaucracies. The pro-liberty side owns the moral high ground. They must claim it.

As I've argued before, ObamaCare was not the final battle in the healthcare war. That mother of all healthcare battles is still to come. Will Americans be presented with the only alternative to single-payer, so that if they choose socialized medicine, they will have chosen it with full knowledge of what they are losing? Or will the Right once again concede the Left's premises, and put up no real alternative? 

Related Reading:

As ObamaCare Failures Pile Up, Get Ready for the Mother-of-All Healthcare Battles

The Left's False Alternative on Health Care

No comments: