I sent the following email around to some people I know are big supporters of anything government:
No wonder the “extreme capitalist” US health care system is in trouble. Since Clinton, their government spends more on health care than any other country. A remarkable fact considering the US are still hanging on as the leaders in medical science research and cancer survival rates http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba596 . And they are one of the only country remaining that does not mandate rationing of health care (yet). They are one of the only countries where you are not forced to die on a waiting list even though you have supposedly paid for health care via taxation. And unlike France and the UK, the US do not refuse certain treatments to new born infants and the elderly.
I’m sure you guys know where I stand on socialism. But I thought you might be interested to consider a side of the argument that you will not hear in the mainstream media:
The most obscene problem I have with the attempted monopolization of service industries by a gun backed organization (the government) is that I think it is immoral to enslave good people. I want my doctor focused on saving my life or curing my illness only, I don’t want him worrying about what medications he can or can’t use without being sued, what procedures have been approved, etc. I think it’s truly perverted to think that you have the right to force someone (that you should be grateful towards, who may even save your life) into doing what you tell them. Government by its nature is not a productive organization; it has no source of wealth other than confiscation of the citizens’ wealth, through taxation, deficit financing or the like (possible due to government control of the monetary supply). Government necessarily always destroys wealth and potential prior to “creating” anything. Add to that the impracticalities of forced monopolization such as the extra expense, the stifling of innovation, the expense and loss of potentially productive people to an unnecessary bureaucracy and the arrogance of assuming some politician can determine what’s best for millions of different people in different situations, and you have a sub-optimal system that has historically been proven to always be in trouble in one way or another. The last time I went to the doctor I was refused a simple cholesterol test because according to a statistical chart I wasn’t a high enough risk. A good example of how the doctor-patient relationship has degraded over time and personalized treatment is becoming much rarer. Even though I pay my taxes and I pay more than my fair share. I certainly don’t see the benefits and I have not observed any improvements in health care services over my lifetime even though more and more money has been spent.
To paraphrase Dr. Peikoff, http://afcm.org/hcinar.html “Health care in the modern world is a complex, scientific, technological service. How can anybody demand a right to such a thing just because they happened to be born?”
Here’s my second email on the topic:
OK one more email considering this is such a big worldwide issue at the moment. This article is from Camille Paglia. She’s an intelligent liberal (ie: quite different politics to mine) and Obama supporter and she is completely dismayed and disgusted by the Democrats. What does it say if a prominent liberal is expressing extreme dismay?
At the last part of her email she mentions the Democrats crack down on free speech. You guys probably don’t know, but the Whitehouse recently requested that people dob in websites that are openly against the proposed health care reforms. I was one of the many people that dobbed myself in. After Tianenmen Square massacre, the Chinese government opened a tip line for people to report those who had been involved in the protests. Apparently, so many ordinary Chinese citizens called in reporting fake tips, reporting themselves, etc. that the government couldn’t sort out the “real” tips, and the line was useless.
Extended excerpt :
You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.
I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.
As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support. How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn’t conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it’s the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan — it’s the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.
With the Republican party leaderless and in backbiting disarray following its destruction by the ideologically incoherent George W. Bush, Democrats are apparently eager to join the hara-kiri brigade. What looked like smooth coasting to the 2010 election has now become a nail-biter. Both major parties have become a rats’ nest of hypocrisy and incompetence. That, combined with our stratospheric, near-criminal indebtedness to China (which could destroy the dollar overnight), should raise signal flags. Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?
What does either party stand for these days? Republican politicians, with their endless scandals, are hardly exemplars of traditional moral values. Nor have they generated new ideas for healthcare, except for medical savings accounts, which would be pathetically inadequate in a major crisis for anyone earning at or below a median income.
And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the “mob” — a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.
But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it…
Thanks once again to the Oactivists mailing list for alerting me to another gem of an article. For anyone interested in “Oactivists” email Diana Hseih at the NoodleFood Blog. (a far superior blog to this one).