The real face of “universal” health care

There are many advocates of government-run “universal” health care. They advocate it because, they say, everyone has a “right” to health care.

Medical2I am adamantly opposed to government-run “universal” health care. You may have seen some of the reasons many like me oppose the idea: Government-run “universal” health care will result in…

  • The rationing of health care
  • Exploding costs
  • Medical decisions being made by federal bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients
  • A lower quality of health care
  • The creation of many more bloated, out-of-control government bureaucracies

I oppose it for these reasons, too — but not primarily for these reasons. No, I oppose government-run “universal” health care primarily because I am absolutely opposed to slavery.

Huh?

You read that right. Because I abhor the practice of slavery I could never support it in the form of government-run “universal” health care.

How are the two even connected?

It’s really quite simple when you stop long enough to consider it. What it really boils down to is what is and is not a “right.”

The Declaration of Independence is brilliant in its wording.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Note these rights are few yet comprehensive. We have a right to our life, we have a right to our liberty, and we have a right to pursue our own happiness. Basically, as long as we do not infringe on the rights of others in the process, we can do whatever we want. Also note these rights occur in nature. We have them by virtue of our birth. They are provided by God. They are innate. They are intrinsic. They belong to us.

Now, consider what the supporters of government-run “universal” health care consider “rights.”

Obviously they think health care is a right. But often these same people will say everyone has a right to…

  • A house
  • A good job
  • Three meals a day
  • A “living” wage
  • An education
  • Reliable transportation

The list can go on.

But do you see the difference?

In her book, “The Virtue of Selfishness,” author Ayn Rand took a similar list of proposed “rights” and exposed it for what it is by asking a simple question at the end of each stated “right.”

At whose expense?

You think you have a right to a house? At whose expense?

You have a right to three meals a day? At whose expense?

ShacklesAdd that question to the end of each “right” and you begin to realize there is a difference between what the founders regarded as rights and what modern politicians often regard as rights.

This new list of “rights” does not occur in nature. They are the result of someone’s labor. Someone has to produce a house. Someone has to provide meals. And, if you claim that person A has a right to a house you then, by default, are claiming they are entitled to the product of person B’s labor. Which makes person B a slave.

This is what government-run “universal” health care is. It is slavery. If one person has a “right” to health care then the person who provides health care becomes a slave — because the product of their labor is not their own.

I know there are many who would say, “That’s ridiculous. Doctors get paid for their services.”

Really?

Slave owners have always made a similar argument. “Slaves,” they would say, “are treated fairly. They are given food, housing and clothes. They are compensated.”

Aha, but we both know the slaves did not get to dictate the terms of the exchange.

Neither do the health care providers in a socialized medical system. Bureaucrats determine the terms by which they will deliver their services and to whom they will be delivered. They can’t charge what they want and they can’t refuse service if they’d like. In fact, most of the decisions free people make about their own lives are taken away from those who provide health care (and from those who receive it) in this kind of system. It’s slavery.

And, I think it’s fair to say, if you support government-run “universal” health care you support slavery — at least in principle. Sure, you probably reject the kind of slavery that existed in America for a couple of hundred years. But, if you support government-run “universal” health care, you’re really just quibbling over the degree to which an individual is enslaved.

I realize many Christians maintain the Bible supports this sort of socialized nonsense. They especially like this passage…

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” — Acts 2:42-47

They claim this passage supports socialism because the early Christians pooled all of their resources and shared everything equally. Yes, these Christians did that. However, they were not mandated to do this by the government and they still had private property (Note how they broke bread in “their homes”).

Some continue to argue that God judged Ananias and Sapphira because they did not participate fully in the communist ideal of the early church. They pretended to give all of their possessions but secretly withheld some for themselves.

But Scripture does not bear this out. Peter even affirmed Ananias and Sapphira’s control over their property when he said:

“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” — Acts 5:4

They were judged because they lied to God. They wanted to appear great in the eyes of men for giving everything they had while holding back. Peter’s comments confirm that they were under no obligation to do this.

But doesn’t the Bible tell us to care for the sick?

Yep.

But it never gives that responsibility to the government. It is always given to individuals or the church. Sorry, but a compelling case for socialized medicine can’t be made from Scripture.

The bottom line is this: Government-run “universal” health care has been an abject failure everywhere it has been tried. We have plenty of examples that confirm this fact. It is immoral on a number of levels and it is not biblical. And, in light of all of that, I think it is fair to question the motives of those who support it.

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

19 Responses to The real face of “universal” health care

  1. Great article. Facts and logic will always defeat those on the left that call themselves Progressives (Liberals) and who promote so-called “social justice.”

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

    Taking from one group of individuals to give to another group of individuals.

    Today, we can see where this idealogy got us. The economy was directly affected by social justice. The Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks and lenders to give individuals subprime loan without any down payment, no income, no job and no credit. High risk loans.

    The housing bubble burst because these individual could not afford these subprime loans and the government again took money from the responsible to cover the irresponsible.

    Obama and the Democrats passed a stimulus bill (again taking money from the responsible to bail out the irresponsible…(banks, insurance companies, auto industry and wall street). They knew this “stimulus” would not stimulate anything and knew no jobs would be created.

    With more people out of a job and having no insurance, Obama and the Progressives immediately jump into the “health care reform.”

    It will continue to be this cycle of social justice until 2012. We live in a society who believes, like you stated, it is a right to own a home, recieve health care, three-square meal, ect. These are not rights.

    Thank you for putting together a great article.

  2. James says:

    Hi Chip
    I was directed to your site from a discussion on Rob Bell in a forum I watch.
    This topic confuses me, from two ends, however-
    First, what do you call failure? As a Canadian, who lived in the US for 3 years [going to seminary]- I cannot let your sweeping generalizations go unchallenged. You state- “The bottom line is this: Government-run “universal” health care has been an abject failure everywhere it has been tried. We have plenty of examples that confirm this fact.” That is quite a claim!
    Define “failure.” There are things that US health care system does very well. I have been to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Very impressive- if you can afford it. We couldn’t.
    But it has failures- not the least of which is its exorbitant expense. If I’m not mistaken the US the per captia cost of health care is among the world’s highest on several scales [ie gross per capita cost and % of GDP]- higher than Canada’s. Seems like failure to me.
    The Canadian system has its failures which we debate- but it also has its successes. The most practical being that 99% of the time Canadians who have a choice come home to receive medical care. On this test the US system is a failure compared to the Canadian system. There are other tests of course. So what are yours?
    Second, and more to the point of what led me to your site in the first place- what leads you, a theology watchdog, to wax on about on the merits or lack thereof of universal health care? You state “It is immoral on a number of levels and it is not biblical.” The connections between your Reformed theology and an opinion on this topic seem tenuous and contrived- at best. Universal health care = slavery?? !!
    The point I am making is this- in Canada some Christians take it on themselves to vilify the US health care system in the name of God. You take it on yourself to vilify our system in the name of God. IMO both sides are specious and ungodly.
    Your Canadian brother whose family is blessed by our health care system-
    James

  3. Chip says:

    James,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Allow me to respond to your points.

    1) I define failure in a health care system this way — high costs, low quality and availability of medical care, and the absence of competition. In a single payer system if you are not satisfied with your level of care where do you go? In Canada’s case you come to the United States (happens all the time). Consider these facts about Canada’s system (borrowed from the Free Market Medicine website):

    — Programs such as Canada’s national health care plan can do nothing to check the demand for medical services. In order to keep such a system from hemorrhaging, administrators must limit the type and quantity of health care available to individuals, which inevitably leads to long waits for treatment and restricted access to medical care. In 1991, the Fraser Institute in Vancouver conducted a study of patient waiting covering five Canadian provinces, 10 medical specialties, and 333 physicians (representing 20% of all practitioners in each of the 10 fields). The study showed that waiting time ranges from 2-5 weeks (for Internal Medicine) to 10-42 weeks (for Cardiology).

    — April 1996: Canadian doctors are moving to the US to practice in record numbers, complaining that their country’s national health system denies them the freedom, technological resources and funding to provide top-notch medical care.

    — October 1996: Obstetricians in southern Ontario, angered by health spending cuts, are refusing to take on new patients, including women about to give birth. As a result health officials are making deals with US medical centers to allow Canadian women to deliver their babies in the US.

    — January 2000: A flu epidemic, along with a shortage of doctors and nurses, has tranformed emergency rooms across Canada into disaster areas. In Montreal, people with non-critical problems, such as broken bones and serious flu, are waiting up to 48 hours to see a doctor. The city’s 17 emergency rooms are staggering under a patient load that is 209 percent in excess of capacity.

    — January 2001 (Reuters): New Brunswick’s 1300 doctors closed their offices on January 8th to protest slow negotiation with the provincial government over wage increases and better working conditions.

    The list goes on. Apparently you’ve not experienced these sorts of things — I’m very glad. I hope you don’t. But studies continue to reveal most others do. If you want to read more about single payer systems go to http://www.marketmed.org/gov_payer.asp?fmmfont=fontsml

    Their information is complete with footnotes.

    2) Health care costs in the United States are high, I agree. I consider that a failure. However, the reason they are high is almost completely due to government intervention in the health care market via mandates and regulations. There are networks of doctors in the U.S. who operate on a cash-only basis and refuse to deal with government red tape. They provide an extremely high level of care at a tiny fraction of the cost of other doctors. But this behavior is often illegal in single payer systems.

    Imagine, you have an illness and the doctor right down your street could treat you for $50. But you can’t do it because it circumvents “the system.” This was actually a part of Hillary Clinton’s proposed health plan back in the early 90s. It would be implemented eventually if the current plan is adopted.

    3) My website is not only about theology. It is also about politics. I comment on both — and it says so in “About Thideology.”

    4) I did not “vilify the US health care system in the name of God.” What I said is that you can’t implement a universal health care system in the name of God by claiming the Bible supports such a system. It does not.

    5) I did say universal health care is a form of slavery, yes. And I stand by that statement. I made my arguments for that position in my article. You did not refute them. You called my opinion tenuous and contrived, but you made no argument against my opinion.

    Again, I appreciate you taking the time to comment and I am genuinely pleased you have been blessed by the health care system in Canada so far. I hope that continues for you. However, I do not want to participate in such a system and do not want any government forcing me into one. I value liberty more than government hand outs at the expense of others.

  4. James says:

    Hi Chip
    There are lots of websites on both sides of this debate that will fill people’s brains with all kinds of data to prove their various arguments. They are validation for the old adage- “figures don’t lie but liars sure can figure.” I suspect you are not a liar but the same adage holds for ideologues. The problem with both sides is that they are driven by ideology rather than solving a problem of delivering health care in the real world. In Canada the ideologists believe that the US system is the epitome of evil. You clearly feel the same about our system. You call it “immoral”!! That’s what I call vilifying BTW- maybe you have a different definition. This makes for a lot of heat and very little light.
    You say that, “Programs such as Canada’s national health care plan can do nothing to check the demand for medical services.” I notice that you have some economics links on your blog. I am surprised that a person with economics background would make such a statement. In publicly funded systems demand is checked by waitlists- in privately funded systems demand is controlled by price. Each system lives with the laws of supply and demand. Wait lists and high prices both kill people. The one that kills the person you love will be your enemy. Once a person you love is at risk from one or the other you will let go of your ideological principles.
    I am not the least bit interested in a theoretical free market system that exists nowhere in the real world. I am prepared to have you show me the merits and weakness of real health care delivery systems in the real world. The US and Canada make for easy comparison but even the Fraser Institute, you referred to [which I respect and know well] doesn’t have such a black and white view of the 2 systems. Each real system comes with real trade-offs. Each has lots of room for improvement.
    I have lived in both systems. I have experienced the good and bad of both systems. I could tell you all kinds of stories. In general Canadians, like myself, travel to the US far more than Americans travel to Canada. Except for the very rich- very few people want your system, as it is, imported into Canada. Have ever you lived in Canada or discussed this with real Canadians- other than fellow ideologues?
    Mixing the above argument with theology just makes an even bigger mess.
    James

  5. Chip says:

    James,

    By claiming that “figures don’t lie but liars sure can figure” I can only assume you have dismissed the evidences I provided of failures in the Canadian “universal” health care system. You did not bother to address them. Instead you proceeded to claim my argument is ideologically driven (as if I didn’t just provide evidence to support my position). I provided evidence, you just ignored it.

    You also seem to think my ideological position has no answer to the problem. Quite the contrary. My solution (and the solution of most who hold my position) is this: Get government out of the health care industry completely.

    Next, you pointed out that I called universal health care “immoral” and that you regard such a statement as vilifying. Go back through our exchange and read carefully — your initial claim was that I vilified universal health care “in the name of God.” I did no such thing. I did not claim the Bible prohibits such a system nor vilify it in God’s name. All I did was point out that the Bible does not support such a system — as many proponents have claimed. But notice, I did not deny vilifying it completely. I did vilify it. It is immoral.

    I regard slavery as immoral. I think it is immoral for a third party to insert itself into a doctor/patient relationship in order to dictate the terms of that relationship. I think it is immoral for a government to restrict health care on the basis of “overall cost” or on the “needs of society as a whole.” Government run universal health care is immoral.

    The statement, “Programs such as Canada’s national health care plan can do nothing to check the demand for medical services,” came from the Free Market Medicine website and is NOT original with me (just so we are clear on the source). I do, however, agree with the statement. You said the demand in publicly funded systems is checked by wait lists and in privately funded systems by price and that both systems kill people.

    Price is a natural function of supply and demand, I agree. Rationing is the result of interference in the market. The demand in publicly funded systems is still there — people are merely denied the services they seek.

    Prices, on the other hand, regulate demand in a much more efficient manner. In a free market system a person who wants non-necessary treatment will weigh the benefits of the treatment against the cost. If he determines the cost is too much, he will wait. In publicly funded systems people will still get in line and demand their health care because “it’s free,” thereby increasing the demand for health care.

    Now, in a free market system, when demand goes up so does price. But, when people realize they can make money by meeting the demand they will seek to meet the demand. That means people will become doctors and nurses because they can make money in it — and the supply goes up to meet the demand.

    In a publicly funded system the government determines what a doctor or nurse can make. There is no incentive to meet demand so supply stagnates. Or, as has been the case in Canada, doctors leave for places where they can make more money, and the supply actually dwindles. That’s how you end up with such long waiting lists.

    You mentioned that you are not interested in a theoretical free market system that exists no where in the world but are prepared for me to show you the merits of real health care delivery systems in the real world.

    Great. It’s called Simple Care. It is the cash only network I mentioned before. It’s really quite simple. When you go to the doctor you pay in full at the time of service. Since 30 to 50 percent of most doctors charge goes directly to administrative costs related to third-party insurance or government regulations, the prices are reduced by 30 to 50 percent. Insurance need only be purchased for catastrophic illness — which is really cheap.

    There is your real system that delivers high quality care at low cost in the real world. In my opinion it is the very best way to deliver health care.

  6. James says:

    Hi Chip
    I suggested that the US medical system is more expensive [not just expensive] than the Canadian system. You threw a barrage of factoids at me in response. You did not respond to my charge- you tried to divert the discussion. Am I supposed to let you get away with that diversion? Can I assume you grant me that point?
    Further, I now suggest that even with a more expensive system- Americans are not healthier than Canadians. That should be an easy thing for you to rebut- if the evidence supports your rebuttal. Or you could concede that as well.
    If my two suggestions are valid then the US system is a demonstrable failure relative to the Canadian system [which, let me repeat has substantial weaknesses].
    BTW using a tiny micro system that operates in the corner of a large system as an example of a real option- is not a valid. You and I are discussing health care in the context of national policy. Show me a country.
    Just out of curiosity- was Joseph immoral when he inserted himself into the food supply market in Egypt? You can see where I’m going here. Your definition of morality seems extra Biblical to say the least. I think you are confusing efficiency, which I agree is usually, but not always, good- with morality which is always good.

  7. Chip says:

    James,

    I do not concede that health care in the U.S. is more expensive than in Canada. You claimed the U.S. was more expensive on several scales (per capita, percentage of GDP) but you provided no evidence or sources for that statement — not that it matters. Besides, aren’t you the guy who said “liars sure can figure?”

    Anyway…

    The seen cost of health care is higher in the U.S. because when you go to the doctor you have to pay something out of pocket. But that does not mean it’s more expensive than in a country where health care is “free.” You see, there is no such thing as free health care. And when you have legions of bureaucrats infesting the system — each taking their portion of the money — costs go up (even if you don’t see those costs at the point of delivery). It’s no more complicated than that.

    In the U.S. — where government intervention is not yet as extensive as it is in Canada or the U.K. — health care costs drop by as much as 50 percent when you eliminate all those bureaucrats who get in between a doctor and patient. I would suspect that percentage would be much higher in a country with government run universal care, where the number of bureaucrats is much larger.

    You may not like my “tiny micro system that operates in the corner of a large system” as an example. But it is a valid example nonetheless. In our discussion — which you characterize as contextualized by national policy — my example clearly shows, in real world examples, the superiority of free market medicine over socialized medicine. It is much more efficient. It is cheaper. And the quality remains high.

    Regarding your question about Joseph: Are you serious? Joseph was sold into slavery, imprisoned, finally elevated as an officer of a king in a country that was already a totalitarian monarchy. Do you honestly think there is a comparison there?

    Finally, I am not confusing efficiency with morality. Government run universal health care is both inefficient and immoral (a charge you have yet to refute). I oppose the adoption of such a system in the U.S. for both of these reasons.

  8. James says:

    Hi Chip
    “ . . . not that it matters . . .”?! That’s quite a disclosure. Do you actually want the stats? Here are some. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems_compared
    Read the first paragraph for the cost stats I was talking about. Regarding the effectiveness of the 2 systems the conclusion is not as simple- but that is an argument you could be making.
    I propose a simple syllogism. You could challenge either of its 2 premises or that the conclusion I claim follows from them. You could show me that the US system is cheaper- but you don’t. I ask you for evidence that US citizens are healthier than Canadians- you just ignore that simple test of the success or failure of a health care system. You could even say that this isn’t a good test. Instead you respond with another factoid about the UK health care system.
    The question about Joseph isn’t specious. Why don’t you answer it?
    I can’t refute your immorality charge- I can only try to demonstrate that something is more or less efficient.

  9. Chip says:

    James,

    I do not deny that health care in the United States is expensive. But I’ve pointed out the reason for this is government intervention in the market. So, government intervention is responsible for both the high costs in the U.S. and the wait lists in Canada. Why in the world would we think government is the solution to either problem?

    The Wikipedia article you provided claims the U.S. spent a higher percentage of GDP on health care in 2006 than did Canada. Was that the government only? Was it insurance companies only? Was it individuals? A combination of all three? And what did the patients in the U.S. get in return for their extra money? The same kind of care they would have gotten in Canada or better? Did the patients have to wait two days to have a broken bone set (which is often the case in Canada), or did they receive immediate care? I’d be willing to pay more to have my broken arm set today rather than wait two days for a discount. How about you?

    What I HAVE demonstrated is that the free market delivers quality health care at a fraction of the cost of socialized health care systems — which makes any comparison between Canada and the U.S. moot. You see, I don’t claim the U.S. system is a free market system — it has far too much government intervention to be considered a true free market system. Again, this is why our costs are as high as they are and why I advocate the withdrawal of the government from the process.

    But all of that is really beside the point of my argument. You may be debating the merits of one country’s “health care system” over another’s. I am not. My argument is against the implementation of socialized medicine because it destroys individual liberty and drives up costs — in any country.

    My whole point is that there should not be a “national health care system.” Health care is a service like any other and should be governed by the market — NOT administered by the government.

    Now, as far as one “country” being more or less healthy than another “country”:

    First, I don’t have to rebut that argument until you provide the evidence. Your claim is not enough. But you needn’t bother because…

    Second, I don’t accept the concept of a “country’s health.” That is an acceptance of a collectivist mindset that I reject outright. Countries are not healthy — individuals are healthy. This is precisely the point I’m making.

    I do not smoke or drink. I exercise (a little), and try to watch what I eat (most of the time). My health is above average. If my neighbor smokes, drinks to excess, doesn’t exercise, and overeats that is his business — not mine. And, in a free market health care system, he alone bears the consequences of his choices. His unhealthy lifestyle doesn’t affect me in the least. However, in a socialized system of health care I would share the cost burden for his increased health-care needs. Either that or the government would begin to dictate what is and is not acceptable behavior. The government could mandate exercise or outlaw certain foods or activities — you know, as a means of “controlling costs.” Neither of those is attractive to me.

    If the U.S. has more unhealthy individuals than Canada, that’s fine with me. I just won’t be one of them. But I fully support an individual’s right to make that determination for himself.

    As for the Joseph question: He made the best out of a bad situation. He probably would have preferred not to have been sold into slavery in the first place. But, finding himself working within a monarchy, he did the best he could to insure an ample food supply. He didn’t have the power to abolish the monarchy — maybe he would have, Scripture doesn’t say. But this has no bearing on our discussion. Joseph’s life is biblical typology. Providence guided him to a specific point, through specific events, in a specific context, for a specific purpose — to draw our attention to Christ. It does not speak to the morality or immorality of monarchies and their control of food supplies.

    Now, I have addressed your arguments. I have either refuted them or demonstrated them to be irrelevant to the topic at hand. I have tried to clarify the scope of the topic. I expect from you the same courtesy.

    When you have provided information in support of your arguments I’ve read it and commented on it. When I have provided information in support of my arguments you have dismissed it as “factoids.” I’ve allowed you to dictate the terms of our discussion up to this point. I won’t allow that any more.

    If our discussion is to continue I’d like you to address the information I’ve provided to support my arguments. If you are either unable or unwilling to do so, that’s fine. I’ve truly enjoyed our discussion and am sincerely glad you’ve taken the time to interact on this blog.

    Otherwise, I look forward to your comments.

    Oh, here’s one other fresh bit of information from the U.K. Apparently government bureaucrats are now deciding who may and may not receive medication for pain management.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5955840/Patients-forced-to-live-in-agony-after-NHS-refuses-to-pay-for-painkilling-injections.html

    This is a prime example of the violation of individual liberty I so deplore in socialism.

  10. James says:

    Hi Chip
    If you look at the Wiki site you will find a big WHO spread sheet that will answer all your technical questions- but obviously they don’t matter.
    You did NOT address my arguments- you evaded them on every point. You did NOT demonstrate that the free market delivers better health care- you declared.
    You are right however that we are arguing from different premises. I prefer to think I am using the rules of propositional logic and you are using ideological presuppositions and looking for evidence. That is what distinguishes a fact from a factoid, BTW.
    I doubt that you will agree 🙂 but that’s OK. You get the last word.
    Blessings from Canada
    James

  11. Chip says:

    James,

    When you reduce the number of people involved in the health care system you reduce the cost, period. Fewer people get paid, less money has to be spent. Government intervention into health care ALWAYS increases the number of people involved and therefore ALWAYS increases the cost. Take a look at the SimpleCare system…

    http://www.simplecare.com/

    They have the data to support this (though I imagine you’ll dismiss this as a “factoid.”) But they demonstrate real savings with real doctors in the real world. People save as much as 50 percent per visit. Annually the savings is, on average, 60 percent or better — at a real dollar savings of $6,000 per person in 2004. All by eliminating intrusive government intervention.

    In providing you with this information I DID demonstrate the superior efficiency of the free market over government bureaucracy. And that really is the primary point I’ve been making.

    All the comparisons between two “national health care systems” (both of which are corrupted with government intervention to varying degrees) is really beside the point. My point is that a true free market system would be better than either the current U.S. or Canadian systems.

    I’m glad you’re happy in the Canadian system. I prefer to have as little government intervention in my life as possible. I tend to think I know better than some government bureaucrat what is best for me and my family — I’m funny that way.

    Again, thanks for the discussion.

  12. Chip says:

    To: The readers of Thideology.com

    Two very interesting things came to my attention after I concluded my discussion with James and I thought you might find them interesting.

    1) This article at worldnetdaily.com discusses the kind of health care rationing that would come to the U.S. in the event Barack Obama’s “health care plan” were adopted

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105872

    2) The Hoover Institute conducted a study THIS YEAR that compared the health care system in the U.S. with various socialized health care systems around the world. Here are some highlights:

    — Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.

    — Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.

    — Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.

    — Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.

    — Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.

    — Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom.

    — People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.

    — Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.

    — Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain.

    — Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

    You can read the entire article here:

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/49525427.html

  13. Frank says:

    I completely agree with Chip on this. I’m glad James has had no trouble with Canada’s health care system, but I get the impression he is in the minority. Here’s just one horror story I found today…

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/leboeuf-schouten1.html

    And, even if socialized medicine was wonderful (which it is not), the federal government has no authority to force it upon us.

    I want nothing to do with such a system.

  14. Chip says:

    The evidence against government-run health care just keeps pouring in. Now, the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says the Canadian health-care system is “imploding,” admits that patients are getting “less than optimal care,” and “that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize.”

    You can read the report firsthand here…

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jbjzPEY0Y3bvRD335rGu_Z3KXoQw

  15. Jonathan says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thoroughly interesting post. I’m a Canadian looking to get involved with improving healthcare systems in general (socialized or not). This post came up in my research.

    Since I’m a bit unfamiliar with the arguments against universal healthcare on a moral basis, this article was very interesting to read. I’d be very interested to hear on what you think about education. Is education a right (as you have defined a right for healthcare) or is it a privilege of hardwork? The two topics seem fairly analogous in my mind.

    thanks. Keep up the discussion.

    Jonathan.

  16. Chip says:

    Jonathan,

    I’m glad you found the article interesting. Regarding your question about education as a right: I do not view education as a “right” for the very same reasons I do not view health care as a “right.” To claim that I have a “right” to a specific kind of education is to claim I have a right to the labor of those who provide that education. That is a form of slavery.

    What I do view as a right is every person going out and seeking to obtain the very best health care and education they can — without outside interference. Everyone has a right to purchase an education for themselves or their children as they see fit. They also have a right to educate themselves and their children. They do not have a right to demand someone else provide that service. They may negotiate for that service but they may not demand it.

    Hope that answers your question.

  17. Chip says:

    Back to the health care information.

    Some have argued that there are no inherent flaws in a socialized health care system. They say socialized medicine will work “if it’s done right.” The same people argue that the chronic problems in the systems in Canada and the U.K. would not be an issue in the United States because the United States would “do it right.”

    Well, we already have several forms of socialized medicine in place in the United States. Let’s see how well they are doing…

    Item 1: The Veteran’s Administration (socialized hospitals) used infected instruments to perform tests on thousands of veterans. Now, otherwise healthy individuals have tested positive for HIV and Hepatitis. Here’s your link…

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/34073.html

    Item 2: More than 1,000 vets were informed they had a fatal nerve disease. Oops, just a “coding error” the VA said. Is this the same kind of coding that becomes necessary when you try to administer a huge data base of patients? Imagine a data base with ALL Americans in it. What would those mistakes look like? Here’s your link…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32541579

    Getting the picture yet?

  18. Andrew says:

    Gudday from sunny australia.
    Having lived in two countries with universal public healthcare (New Zealand and Australia) that also permits private health insurance, I do find it perplexing that somehow this system which although it is not perfect does give a reasonable level of care to everyone, somehow could not work in the states.

    Over here the govt encourages people on higher income to have private cover (which only covers you for hospital related illnesses) to lighten the load on the public system. Doctors can charge what they like, and the public system reimburses up to a set level. you or your heath insurer cover the gap.

    I think that universal health care is akin to saying that we have a social contract with others in our country to assist each other and to provide for one another. I have very wealthy friends who resent having to pay more than they get back, but even when I was earning above average salary I saw it as part of a uniform obligation to the rest of society. My political leanings are to the right. In the US I’d be a republican. For every instance that could be given of how state run health fails, there would be just as many instances of private health failing. Neither is a guarantee of excellence.

    All the best

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