no third solution

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Universal Health Care is Scary: Here’s Why.

March 22nd, 2007

A commenter over at Coyote Blog brings up what is probably the biggest fear anyone should have about so-called “universal” health-care. I know, health-care is a tired debate, which is why I stay out of it. So allow me to preface my reaction:

Don’t worry about the people who currently opt-out of insurance because they’re young and healthy and maybe a little brash – they’ll be forced to subsidize care for the old, the infirm, and the idiots. Stop worrying about whether you will be able to opt-out of coverage (you won’t). Forget about trying to determine whether such a concept is metaphysically possible (it’s not). Set aside the debate about how the quality of service will suffer tremendously (it will). Stop worrying about whether it will be cheaper than private insurance (it won’t). Stop arguing about how everyone will get the care that they need (everyone won’t). Put all that shit aside – it’s scary. But it gets worse.

Stop worrying about how the level and quantity of individual care will foreverafter be subject to congressional budgetary constraints – your bypass, your kidney transplant, your arthroscopic knee surgery, they’re now budgetary line items – and no matter how much you feel you need them, someone else will be making the decisions: “You don’t need ACL surgery, just get a brace. And in a few years, a wheelchair.” And so on. If you don’t think this will happen – remember that your health will now be in the hands of the same people who determined that our soldiers’ vehicles didn’t need to be heavily armored. That their bodies didn’t need to be heavily armored. The stewards of your health will now be the same people who build bridges to nowhere, or who last year, spent a day in-session honoring the Superbowl Champions.

Now, that thought – courtesy of my Public Finance professor, is pretty effing scary. But I think commenter Doug Murray at Coyoteblog really makes a good point:

When it comes to healthcare, I too am nervous that it’s quality may (sic) decline for me. But I’m scared to death that it will provide the excuse for government to micromanage my life even more than the income tax code does. You can already see it in the debates about motorcycle helmets. The idiocy question aside, the big argument says “since society is paying your medical bills, it gets to dictate what risks you can take.

When I first read Doug’s comment, I thought it was hands-down, scarier than my professor’s fears. But really, they’re a package deal. They get to control both your body, and the amount and quality of care that you receive. They will use treatment, or the threat of witholding treatment, the same way they use entitlements, subsidies and regulations today. Every aspect of your life will be politicized, and the last vestiges of human liberty, snuffed out.

Comments

2 Comments

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  • Yanni says on: March 28, 2007 at 11:30 am

     

    Oh man!

    I am Canadian and we have had universal health care here for about forty years.

    It is administered by individual provinces and used to be subsidized by the feds. They bailed long ago.

    In British Columbia where I live (West Coast) it is estimated that within a decade or so, at present rate, the entire provincial budget will be taken up by the flabby mismanaged government run health care system. Forget roads and bridges.

    It is micro managed … badly.

    Because we all have a stake in the cost of this laughable system, it is used to persecute those who don’t live the so-called healthy life-style. This amounts to the kettle continually calling the pot, black.

    Smokers are the faves of the zealots, with the porkers in second place. Then it goes to the seat belt offenders, fast drivers, bicycle riders who don’t wear those ineffectual stupid looking helmets and so on.

    Anywhere that there is a “for free” sign, there is a line up that will never stop growing. People use the emergency services for hang nails and the flu.

    As a cost saving measure a few years ago, many provincial governments decided to cut back on the supply side. Now there is an chronic shortage of doctors and nurses. Great idea eh?

    Plus the fact that any doctors and nurses who actually care about the quality of the service they render and the working condition they are subject to, stream across the border to the USA further exacerbating the situation.

    There is a move to implement some privatization in the system, but it is met by the socialist hoards up here with vehemence.

    If you get Hillary you will get Hellery. Your Dumbocrats need only look north to find more denial.

    We are quickly approaching the wall and a complete breakdown is imminent, but until then we enjoy a “free, but not available” very mediocre health care system.

  • doinkicarus says on: March 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm

     

    Thanks Yanni! Always a pleasure to read personal anecdotes – especially ones that confirm my suspicions!

    My gut tells me – ask Canadians what they think of their system; ask the Brits what they think of theirs. And almost to a head, they’ll confirm your story.

    It doesn’t work, and it cannot work – not now, not ever.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics