Days of Change

Day 358 – Love Don’t Cost a Thing

October 28, 2009

It’s another Health Care rant.

I was inspired by a Michelle Malkin post about children being used as health care shills. David Axelrod even used his disabled daughter on 60 Minutes in a brilliant marketing ploy. The focus is that we all (Americans, the planet) deserve health care.

I have two issues with this. First of all, health care for children is pretty affordable. If they were taken as a single group without regard to condition, the cost is relatively small per individual. That’s why family health plans can be cheaper per individual than individual plans. This could be solved with minimal regulation of the health care industry.

The other issue is more problematic. Do people deserve health care? This question is an example of the question of rights. A constructionist would say that our human rights, independent of government, are to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Then there is the progressive FDR model, from a concept he never completed, about a “second bill of rights.” Glenn Beck actually brought this into the mainstream after the original speech was discovered.

FDR proposed that as Americans we deserve the “right” to a home, a job, (that pays a decent wage) medical care and suitable leisure time. How would people be given these rights? Unlike the other kind, all of these are rights given by the state and not the Creator. All of them also require money.

After the last few decades of government subsidized college and medicine, we learned something. Those two areas of the economy have had the greatest increase in prices. When demand goes up and no opportunity cost exists, the costs increase to spread a consistently small supply around.

If everyone deserves a job and someone can’t find it, the conclusion is that one must be provided. How would that job be assigned? The best way would be according to the person’s abilities. What would be the pay? It would logically be according to their need. Put it all together, it spells K-A-R-L-M-A-R-X.

Most countries that have “universal” health care also have socialized medicine. That means the doctors work for the state and the hospitals are run by the state. You know how it’s supposed to cost $2 trillion to run health care in this country and it boils down to $7,200 per person while most countries spend only $4,000? That happens because most socialized systems in the world are running deficits. That $4,000 per person is probably over $5,000 when deb load is added in. The US still has a (dwindling) Medicare surplus. The quality of our care is still the best. That’s why people from around the world come to our hospitals. It’s also why some of that $7,200 per person includes non-Americans. It sure as hell includes millions of Mexicans.

From a purely practical perspective, it is simply not possible to give people all the things they “deserve” to have. Even now, this country has an economy of $14 trillion and a debt of $11 trillion. As citizens, we literally have $10,000 each to live on now. The entire United States is below the poverty line. We not only spent too much, we owe too much.

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