Thursday, May 07, 2009


Point: Chuck Asay, in this cartoon, sums up one often-mentioned objection to government-controlled healthcare: that it would inevitably end up moving resources from one person to another. In this case, that's from someone relatively more healthy to someone relatively more sick -- but this doesn't seem to be the point Asay thinks he's making. The point he seems to be trying to make is that healthcare will always be scarcer than the places it is needed, which is true but not in dispute -- to quote Churchill out of context, "we already know what you are, madam, now we're just haggling over the price."

Counterpoint: Australia Montoya, who lived not too far from me, died at the age of 43 last week after a long battle with cancer. During that battle, her health insurance -- the rah-rah free market kind of thing Asay and his cohorts thinks will solve all problems -- cut her off after she'd maxed out her benefits, causing an interruption in treatment. There's no proof of anything, of course, but her insurance company certainly didn't help her survival by kicking her to the curb.

So here's the thing: a system that moved expensive machines around to benefit sicker people would be notably better than our current system in some ways. What, precisely, is the objection of Asay and his fellow-thinkers to it? "I've got mine, and you're not taking it"? That relatively poor black women aren't worth saving in the first place? Or that they simply prefer abusive private organizations to abusive public ones?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The weird thing about the health care debate is that people fighting for the current system are against "rationing," but they don't seem to understand that what he have now *is* rationing. Economically speaking, high prices because demand outpaces supply rations resources to the financially well-off.

If folks want to argue that only the wealthy should have health care, that's their right. But rationing is what we have right now.

Post a Comment