We will soon have to decide if we want a market oriented health care system, or a government dominated systemwrites Darrick Johnson as the Resurgent contributor (who likes — a minimum — three spaces between sentences) tackles The Cruel Hopelessness Of “Single Payer”.
In the current debate over the Affordable Care Act, we really are in the midst of a great proxy war over single payer health care. Sure, its not on the table with this Congress, and Obamacare, while a bureaucratic monstrosity, isn’t single payer. But the debate surrounding GOP efforts to repeal, or at least reform the law is really a precursor to a national debate over single payer.Read the differences between the Jones family and the Smith family, and see how it relates to the very real nightmare of the Gard family in the UK.
Regardless of the fate of the GOP pseudo-repeal bill, we are at a crossroads. Obamacare is collapsing. It was never intended to be permanent. It was always a compromise, a bridge to complete, government sponsored, single payer health care. We will soon have to decide if we want a market oriented health care system, or a government dominated system.
Every left-wing opinion piece on health care starts with the premise that medicine shouldn’t cost anything, and anytime it does, it’s a evidence of a failed system. They point to Canada, the UK, and European states where the socialist dreams of medicine are, we are told, coming true. Obamacare’s failures, they say, should drive us closer to “single payer”, not farther away.
… Let’s look at two hypothetical examples, one, representing a worst-case scenario for free market health care, and one, representing a worst-case scenario for socialized medicine.
No system will be perfect. Health care is vitally important to each of us, therefore it will be expensive; it is the definition of inelastic demand. We don’t all have the financial ability to pay for what we might need, be it through insurance, or our own money. But if faced with the choice of two terrible scenarios, – the Smith family’s hopeless “free” health care, the Gard family’s real life nightmare, or the Jones family’s expensive, but attainable care, wouldn’t you rather be the Jones family? At least they can fight. At least they can try. At least there is hope.
Conservatives don’t oppose single payer because we are heartless. This fight isn’t mainly about tax rates, or deficits, though single payer is catastrophic for both. It’s about having not the cheapest health care, but the best. So that when you need a hospital bed, the market makes sure you don’t have to wait until it’s too late. So that when you have a rare disease, there is hope that the market found it worthwhile to develop a treatment. That might mean that when you have medical issues, money is a worry. You get scary bills. But you have hope. If the treatment is available, but the money is not, that can be fixed. If the health care is free, but the government doesn’t permit you to receive it…well, that’s a cruelty we don’t want to see replicated in the United States.