The government should not be guaranteeing "universal healthcare." Healthcare is a need, not a right. Rights are freedoms of action, not automatic claims on goods and services that must be produced by another. There's no such thing as a "right" to a car or an appendectomy. Whenever the government attempts to guarantee a service such as healthcare, it must control it, leading to Canadian-style rationing and waiting lists.
Instead of universal healthcare, we need free-market reforms, such as allowing patients to purchase insurance across state lines and use health savings accounts for routine expenses, and allowing insurers to sell inexpensive, catastrophic-only policies to cover rare but expensive events. Such reforms could reduce costs and make insurance available to millions who cannot currently afford it.
Paul Hsieh, MD
This letter isn't stupid crazy batshit dumb. But it does fail to justify itself with anything concrete. The arguments are as old and weak as Nancy Reagan.
Fist of all, I completely agree with Dr. Hsieh's first statement. I don't believe that health care is a right. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have it. Roads aren't a right either. They are a good provided by another. And the troopers patrolling them are a service provided by another. But the government builds them and staffs them because they help us. We seem to think that's okay. The argument that health care isn't, or shouldn't be, a "right" is immaterial.
Dr. Hsieh really falls apart when he brings Canada into the equation. He leads off the sentence with the premise that the government must "control" what it guarantees. Well, duh-fucking-uh. Did we expect the government to take something over and then just let it sit there? We've had enough of that with FEMA over the past eight years. The concept is ludicrous and only mentioned because, as we all know, government is always bad and the private sector is always good. The words "government" and "control" in the same sentence are meant only to scare you.
Now, where is the proof that universal health care in America will lead to rationing and waiting lists? Where? Our economy is a gazillion times greater than Canada's, even now. We have more than enough resources to cover everybody with no waiting lists and no rationing. We could have done it with room to spare with the money we spent, and continue to spend, in Iraq. Or that we just gave to Wall Street. The argument holds no water. (Notice also that free marketeers always point to Canada and its problems and never to, say, France, which does it really well.)
So, now that Dr. Hsieh has conclusively established that universal healthcare is a bad idea (rationing! government control!) he can stick the knife in with the old free-marketeers' standby. That's right, the health care market is just not open enough. If we just allow people to shop more, we'll all be okay.
Dude, I don't want to be able to afford health care. I don't want to shop. I just want to get it. Get it? These "reforms" will just lead to more money trickling UP to your pals in the insurance industry.
Fuck you, Dr. Hsieh, if that is your real name. And the insurance company you're shilling for.