The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

Do You Have a ‘Right’ to Health Care?

What are your rights? Do you have a ‘right’ to health care? Today, many people think so. If you think that everyone, or at least part of our population (ex: the elderly) have a ‘right’ to health care, then you have fallen prey to a flawed Socialist or leftist mindset.

 

First, let’s clear up the concept of rights. As Americans we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s it. It’s a short, elegant, and an exceeding wise statement on/understanding of human nature. You don’t have a ‘right’ to food, housing, transportation, clothes, video games, etc. No one, including the government, owes you any of these commodities. What we do have a right to is access, but not a right to an outcome.

 

So if you want to work in America, you have a right to compete for a job, but you do not have a right to have a job. In our free market, you have to earn a job with a skill set desired by a business and be a better fit for that job than those competing against you. Then you must execute your job with competence and persistence. Do poor work or don’t show up on time and you will get fired and replaced by someone who will. This simple arrangement, called free-market capitalism, has objectively out-performed all other models of fiscal/economic engagement. It has made the US one of the most prosperous places on earth to live and the most socially mobile and progressive.

 

If you take the Socialist/leftist view of work, you essentially assert that you have a ‘right’ to a job regardless of your skills or your ability to execute work tasks. Businesses are entities that will always exist, are run by greedy, selfish people, and have the primary function of providing jobs for workers. This attitude usually includes an expectation that the wage for a job is a ‘living wage’ regardless of the value, complexity, or productivity that your job role produces (ex: a fast-food worker expecting a wage that would support him and/or a family). This approach dictates that peoples of all skills, experience, and education all deserve the equal outcome of getting a job vs. just getting access to the job pool. This flawed approach has destroyed the USSR in as little as 70 years and strangled the growth and freedoms of people in many countries today (compare and contrast Communist North Korea with its democratic sister to the south; compare highly socialist Germany or France with the economic dynamo of more recently free-market Ireland). 

So when it comes to health care, we all have the right of access to doctors and treatments if we have the ability to pay for them. The moment we say we have the right to something, the key question is: ‘At who’s expense?’ This is a socialized version of a Ponzi scheme or like musical chairs. It would be illegal in the business world. Just ask Bernard Madoff, the swindler that bilked individuals and whole countries out of one billion-plus dollars. Whether it starts slow or fast, those paying will become an ever-shrinking group and those (now with little or no financial barrier) demanding services will become an ever-growing group until the system breaks down and collapses. It is an objective certainty. The only question is when it will fail. 

The solution? Apply free-market principles and mechanisms to our health care system. For all our other prosperity, we have an economic-lobotomy when it comes to providing health care. It’s one of the only major areas of American society where we have no idea what the cost will ultimately come out to. If we publish prices and buy our own care, we will immediately begin to see prices fall and quality rise to an equilibrium that is naturally aligned with market demand and ability to pay. It will work just like it works in every other aspect of our economy. We will retain our power of individual choice and our market will continue to be the world-leader in innovation and cutting edge care. 

As we move ahead to our next political administration, do not allow our government to strip us of choice, accessibility, and quality medical care by going down the flawed road of ‘Universal’ health care or similar Socialist schemes. They will not work. Speak out for a market-based, consumer-driven health care system.

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Filed under: Health Care, Philosophy, Politics, , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. ggw_bach says:

    health insurance is a very good compromise solution.

    the only problem is: what is the check on hospitals and doctors to rein in costs? the market here isn’t entirely demand / supply based. People go to the specialists when they need to.

    nice summary of the positions though. Its a vexed issue.

    • Bach, thanks for your comments.

      I would respond to your costs-question with “The simple laws of supply and demand”. If specialists are too expensive, they will not get enough business to support their practices. They will adjust their price to maximize their profit, but will do so guided by the market. If 1 person will pay $500 for a specialist visit, 5 people will pay $250, and 10 will pay $100, the price will gravitate toward $250.

      Another factor of this market-based approach is finally getting published prices out to the public. This will allow you, the client, to shop around for the best price and, likely, read up on other customer satisfaction comments for a particular specialist. Other or new specialists will undercut existing specialists in a geography until they reach the market-equilibrium described above. It works- even in other ‘must-have’ areas like gasoline for transportation.

  2. pino says:

    We have been discussing medical care, health care and health insurance over at my place as well. I have concluded that I see Socialized Medicine, or Single Payer Health Insurance, the same way that I see a private monopoly. No one disagrees that private monopolies are bad. It reduces quality, reduces innovation and reduces cost reductions.

    So, what the left is saying is in essence two things:

    1. We think that a monopoly is a good thing if we are the ones building it.

    2. We think that, for some reason, a government administration is going to be more streamlined than a private one.

    I disagree with them on both counts.

    • And you Sir, would also be absolutely right on both counts! Monopoly’s are only good for those running them and the government is always less efficient than private business at any endeavour to deliver goods and/or services.

      I will check out, with interest, your blog-discussion on this topic as well.

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