Saturday, May 13, 2006

Health Care

Today I read an editorial that stated outright that "health care is a right."


Who granted this right? I know that the Creator granted all people the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our Constitution guarantees other rights but doesn't actually state the source(s) of those rights. Where is it written, besides in the editorial I saw, that health care is a right?

The superficial fools will scream, "It's part of life! As in, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!" Food is necessary for life, too, but I don't see anyone (yet) suggesting that the government provide food for everyone, food stamps notwithstanding. Would you want the government responsible for providing your food?

The government ensures a standard of healthy food, sure, but it doesn't provide each of us with tonight's dinner. The government also ensures a standard of healthy medicine (FDA) and works to track and find cures for all sorts of diseases and other illnesses (CDC). But it doesn't provide our food to us--because it's not a right--and it shouldn't provide our health care to us, either--because health care isn't a right.

But to hell with this life talk. I want to talk about the pursuit of happiness. If health care is a right because it promotes life, I want a trip to Vegas so I can pursue some happiness. Sounds stupid, doesn't it? I can hear you now, "I don't want to pay for this guy's trip to Vegas!" And I don't want to pay for your health care. I don't want to pay for your dinner, either. There are some things that we should be responsible for on our own.

"But health care is so expensive!" you cry. So is a condo in Turnberry Place in Vegas, but no one is suggesting the government buy me one to promote my happiness. How might the market bring health care costs down? Is there a market-oriented solution to this so-called crisis?

Why yes, there is.

NEA/CTA, eat your hearts out!

Update, 5/13/06 8:28 pm: I just saw this quote on Instapundit and thought it applies here as well:
The current health insurance system sucks; turning it into a government monopoly will increase, rather than decrease, the overall level of suckage.


Duez said...

According to a Harris Poll of all industrial nations, Americans are the least satisfied with their health care.

We are one of the only industrialized nation without some form of health care for all our citizens.

Even congress is given a health care plan for the rest of their lives as a perk.

Have you seen what the Mass. governor has done up there with health care? (by the way he's a Republican!)

Darren said...

The economies of the European countries are crumbling under the weight of their socialist policies. I have no desire to jump off that bridge.

This health care "crisis" is manufactured.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to post this.

Anonymous said...

Bull S***!

The U.S. had the 2nd highest mortality rate of industrialized countries.

Darren said...

While true, it's still minimal.

And the "crisis" is manufactured.

Remember what happened to 15,000 mostly elderly people in France a couple summers ago? Now *that* is what I consider a crisis.

Ellen K said...

Some of this has to do with the huge numbers of undocumented workers who use public health care and county hospitals in lieu of regular medical care and then don't pay. It's a huge issue in most county hospitals. And while I think people should have access to healthcare, more and more it seems to be with me and mine footing the bill.
I make a reference to this on my blog about the "immigrant problem" as it is euphemistically called. It is the sort of issue that many don't want to address. If someone has spent most of their life smoking and drinking and generally abusing their bodies, do we really have to pay whatever it takes to get them back on their feet? And at the same time, while we pay literally hundreds of dollars per family per month just for basic coverage, we, the payors into the system, often do without because WE CAN'T AFFORD IT? I posed this question to my doctor and he said that much of it has to do with the incredible amount of red tape and paperwork involved with HMO's, PPO's Medicare and all the other systems in place. I would be willing to consider a nationwide plan, but I just have a feeling that a few of us will end up paying for everyone who trips over the border. I think at that point, a national ID card is in order. And if you aren't here as a citizen, then you are on your own. We are seeing the execution of the Golden Goose of services as I write.

Anonymous said...

Minimal, because it's not happening to you.

Teachers and Army Officers have great healthcare.

Darren said...

Teachers and Army officers get it by *working*. They have jobs which are valued enough that health care is often part of the pay package.

Incidentally, I pay as much for my health care premiums as I do for my union dues--over $90/month. Which one do you think is more beneficial to me?

Anonymous said...

The problem with having an honest discussion on this subject is that everyone gets emotional about it... on both sides. The constitutionality, the poor victims, who's going to pay, and on. Let's stop worrying about ancient history and leave the political preconceptions behind and look at it this way: what policy is in the best interest of the nation's economy?
Good background:

The New War Over Wal-Mart

The mounting attacks on the world’s largest company could change American business—and transform the health-care system.

Darren said...

Put simply, I don't see government bureaucracies as the best way to get most things done. Government is great with a sledgehammer, not so great with a scalpel.

Remember, the same type of person who might someday be deciding on your health care is currently working in the DMV :-) And as I read elsewhere, public housing gives us a great view of how well government handles "social" issues.

Anonymous said...

If that is the way you feel about the government, why have you spent most of you adult life working for the government?

Darren said...

Your question implies that since I work for a government agency that I should support government in all things. That doesn't strike me as a valid argument.

As for why I have held the jobs I've held, the answer is simple--they support my lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

You use an anlogy I use alot when people want the gov't to do something (pre-k, health care, oil refining). All you have to do is ask, well, do you think the gov't will do a better job at it than the DMV, social security, medicare, IRS, public housing, school lunches, etc.

Basically, the gov't programs are designed to provide the minimum level of service to the maximum number of users.

Darren said...

Exactly. Sledgehammer, not scalpel.