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Is For-Profit Healthcare as Immoral as ‘Death Panels’?

August 16th, 2016

Stethoscope on a printed sheet of paper

My friend Matt notes that while this “isn’t exactly the ‘death panel’ that Fox News was trying to scare you with, [it] most certainly falls in to the category of fallout associated with nationalizing medical treatment”, in response to this Scientific American piece :

Hospitals across the United States are throwing away less-than-perfect organs and denying the sickest people lifesaving transplants out of fear that poor surgical outcomes will result in a federal crackdown.

One reply says:

I don’t disagree with some of your logic here, but I also feel that you would have to agree that healthcare based on profit is equally immoral

No, I don’t and you’re wrong.

In its current state, for-profit health care is not without problems — many of them — but this specific act is active and deliberate evil due fundamentally to the nationalization and which supplants even a person’s ability or willingness to pay, or to take on risk. It is a medical equivalent of cash-for-clunkers, of plowing under the fields even while millions starved during the great depression, or the oft-lambasted regulations which prevent grocery stores from donating produce, etc.

In these cases, there are some quantity of goods which people want and would be willing to take, but which are being deliberately withheld from them (and destroyed).

Now, you may counter that under the price system, some people may suffer or die as well because they can’t afford the service (why it costs as much as it does, and whether it ought to cost that much is a different topic). While you may prefer a different distribution of kidneys than the price system provides, it is absolutely without question that if there are fewer kidneys to go around because the hospitals are literally throwing them in the trash, fewer people’s needs will be met as a result.

I don’t see how death from “I can’t afford a transplant” is any worse, objectively, than death from “some panel at the hospital decided that even though I’d been on the wait list for 18 months, and was ‘next in line’ for a kidney, that someone else’s need was more urgent, so I didn’t get my transplant”. Especially when there will necessarily be more deaths arising from the latter than from the former.

On Moot Points: “47%” and the Romney Campaign

September 20th, 2012

I know Mitt made a foot-in-mouth statement about the “47%”, something that goes like this:

There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement … And they will vote for [Obama] no matter what …

The liberal faction of the mainstream media has a hard-on over this statement like it’s the writing on the wall, the beginning of the end for the Romney campaign. Even though his base – and that 47% is represented largely by southern “Red” states, I don’t think this really matters to them, and consequently to his campaign.

Taxes by state, percent of non-payers

You have to ask yourself do they give a shit? and more importantly do they even know or understand the difference?

Probably not, to both questions. I’d wager most people with zero tax liability still think they’re getting ripped off by The Man (and to an extent they are, but that’s a topic for another discussion). And the vast majority of people — no matter their party affiliation — are dangerously uninformed on matters of economic principles. They would be shocked, as I suspect Romney would also be, to learn that despite the argument that “the rich pay almost all of the taxes” (which is nominally true), that “the rich” are far greater beneficiaries of (corporate) welfare and redistribution than are the working poor.

Also, there’s the pesky fact that the 47% is basically bullshit.

At the end of the day, whether Mitt implodes doesn’t matter. In the charade of “election year politics” and the quadrennial popularity contest that elects the President, it does. But the point is that doesn’t matter. At all. In the grand scheme of things, your corporate masters don’t care whether you pick Obama or Romney as long as you pick Obama or Romney.

The “C” Word

July 9th, 2012

For (probably not) the last time…

The liberty movement would be in a far better place if they stopped clinging to “capitalism”, if they stopped trying to rehab the word “capitalism” and if they stopped trying to convince the rest of the world that the Randian “Unknown Ideal” version of “capitalism” — despite being predated by at least a century — is the one and only true definition of “capitalism”.


Extra Credit: Free Market Capitalism is an Oxymoron

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics