Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Socialized Medicine is not the cure for what ails us

Star Parker recently wrote a fine article telling us that "Hillarycare is Not the Answer"; she might have said ‘socialized medicine is not the answer’. Hillary and her friends are not the first to propose the government knows what is best for us. In modern times the concept was the brainchild of the former Soviet Union and then perfected by the Peoples Republic of China.

Another point made in Parker's article is that the core behavioral problems of immorality and promiscuity, and poverty and risk of illness, are not only ignored but subsidized. The loss of our historic sense of morality; the idea that we should take responsibility for our lives and be self reliant, chiefly drives our dependence on government. Star says:

"Our health-care ills are symptomatic of our social ills. And our social ills reflect a society where the link between personal responsibilities and costs and personal rights and benefits has been largely severed. According to Dr. David Gratzer of the Manhattan Institute, in 1960 about half of health-care expenditures were directly controlled by consumers. Today, it is about 15 percent. Over the same period in which consumers have relinquished control, per-capita health-care spending has quintupled and costs have skyrocketed. Soviet-style mandates like what Clinton wants will simply dig the hole into which we are sinking deeper. The approach is morally repugnant, the antithesis of everything that a free society is about, and, like the former Soviet Union, does not work".

In the case of health care, Hillary and others have proposed that government decide what we should have and then mandate it for us to buy. If we think we can’t afford it, that’s not a problem because the government will provide tax payers’ money to pay for medical care.

Socialized Medicine requires us to allow government to tell us what an acceptable level of health insurance is and force us all to buy it. In order to make this work a government bureaucracy has to be created staffed not by medical professionals but by untrained bureaucrats who will make sure we are doing what we are told. Not only that, but If we don’t buy into the government program voluntarily, the government won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. If you doubt this, Hillary answered a question on television by George Stephanopoulos who asked how this would be enforced, her answer - "We will have an enforcement mechanism. ... you know, going after people's wages."

Supporters of socialized medicine need not worry about the possibility Hillary may not become the Democrat presidential candidate, her opponent Hussein Obama, (who has the most liberal voting record in the Senate), also wants the government to regulate, control, define and set the cost of our health care. Thus, whoever is the Democrat candidate, we can look forward to a Democrat effort to have the government take over this one-seventh of the country’s economy. Regardless whether one does or does not like the opposing Republican candidate, election of the Republican is the only possibility of avoiding this particular catastrophe.

‘Free’ health care as even now dictated by the government is of course not free except to those who are the recipients of cost-free medical care; their health care is paid for by tax payers. Since most people don’t pay taxes, they think socialized medicine is a great idea whose time has come. Whenever there is no cost for a service, it will be abused and the cost of providing the service will inevitably increase and become higher and higher.

Another reason for our growing cost of heath care is lawyers. Trial attorneys like one-time Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards, want the medical profession to pay for ‘medical injuries’, physical or emotional (in return for their one-third of the jury award in compensation). Since Democrat legislatures and their trial attorney supporters see to it we don’t have the luxury of tort reform, it is unlikely this cause of the problem of increasing health care cost will not be solved any time soon.

Too many among us have come to accept the idea that government is the answer to all our problems. We do have a problem of increasing cost of health care in the country but the government is not the solution, it is the problem. If we want cheaper health care, we need less, not more, government. Individual freedom, choice and responsibility have made our country great, now is not the time to abandon these traditions.

No comments: