Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Unrelated Health Care Debate Tidbits

I read two different columns today about different facets of the ongoing debate about socializing our health care system. They are unrelated, but since I don't want to do two separate posts on the topic, I'll just lump them together here.

First, from Megan McArdle:

Robert Wright notes that "we already ration health care; we just let the market do the rationing." This is a true point made by the proponents of health care reform. But I'm not sure why it's supposed to be so interesting. You could make this statement about any good:

"We already ration food; we just let the market do the rationing."
"We already ration gasoline; we just let the market do the rationing."
"We already ration cigarettes; we just let the market do the rationing."

And indeed, this was an argument that was made in favor of socialism. (No, okay, I'm not calling you socialists!) And yet, most of us realize that there are huge differences between price rationing and government rationing, and that the latter is usually much worse for everyone. This is one of the things that most puzzles me about the health care debate: statements that would strike almost anyone as stupid in the context of any other good suddenly become dazzling insights when they're applied to hip replacements and otitis media...

[T]here is also a real difference between having something rationed by a process and having it rationed by a person.

The second comes from The Hill:

The Service Employees International Union, which has endorsed Democratic health reform efforts, also reported Monday a voice mail left at its headquarters that warned the union not to send members to town hall events to block protesters.

“I suggest you tell your people to calm down, act like American citizens and stop trying to repress people’s First Amendment rights,” the recording said. “That, or you all are going to come up against the Second Amendment.”

Let's not forget that it was SEIU goons who beat Kenneth Gladney last week at a town hall meeting in St. Louis.


Ellen K said...

From what I hear, union members were bussed in to the NH townhall meeting and seated while constituents from the area were left outside. I don't know if they think preaching to the choir is the way to win hearts and minds or if they are just flattering the president with a biased crowd, but since unions won't be participating in this healthcare fiasco, I can only think they were brought in to intimidate those who dare to refuse the Will of Obama. This is going from confrontational to ugly real fast. And it doesn't have to be that way if anyone would just listen. But as seen in Georgia this past week, reps don't even want to listen to people from their own community that have doubts. They just want us to shut up and take it.

Darren said...

I've read that SEIU is the largest union representing health care workers--so they definitely have a dog in this fight.