Health Care

The following letter was written by an HOS member and published in the Houston Chronicle.

One editorial and another article by Paul Krugman appeared in Friday’s paper lamenting the fact that the federal and state government don’t provide health care to everyone who needs it.  Both of these pieces assume that if citizens need something, in this case health insurance, that the government must provide it by way of taking money (i.e. taxes) from responsible, hardworking people and giving it to others who are less well off or irresponsible or just plain lazy.  Just because someone needs something, even if that something is as important as medical care, other people (i.e. taxpayers) shouldn’t be forced to provide for those needs.  People also need clothing and shoes, so does that mean the government should set up a national shoe and clothing program and take a significant portion of everyone’s paycheck in order to fund it?  Obviously not.  In our constitutional republic, one that should recognize and respect individual rights, individuals—doctors and patients—should be left free to make their own medical decisions and to agree upon a price to be paid by that individual patient.  To have a right to something (such as a right to life or property) means that a person should be given the freedom to seek out his or her values without interference from other people or the government.  For example, when our Founding Fathers wrote that Americans have a right to life, they did not mean that others had to provide them with the means to sustain that life.

People who are promoting socialized medicine keep whining that the current system is broke.  Did they ever stop to ask why?  The government “broke” the system in the first place.  It started back in the 1930s with special deals to some insurance companies; then the problems began escalating after the passage of Medicaid and Medicare in the 1960s.  Now some people want the government to finish the job and make our entire health care system one big Medicaid program.  We’ve recently seen how well the government has managed half the mortgage market.  How could anyone want them to do the same thing to health care?  Krugman also points out that every other “advanced nation” provides national health care and disparages the United States because we don’t.  Just because these other nations choose to violate the rights of their citizens doesn’t mean the U.S. should follow suit.  Americans should be proud of the fact that we have the most advanced medical facilities, medicines, and medical technology available in the world today because we still have the remnants of a free market system.  But we won’t for long if concerned citizens don’t speak out against a government takeover of health care.

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