Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Government Should Provide Healthcare

Some things transcend politics.

I am a believer in limited government and I am a believer in a free market. I believe in privatizing education and I even believe in privatizing health care. If I believe in privatizing health care, why did I just say that the government should provide it? The fact is, privatized health care is a dream. We have had well-meaning politicians and economists spouting its benefits for generations. Every election cycle we hear about how candidate X is going to reform health care, either by privatizing it, or turning it over to the government. Instead of either, America's health care system is caught somewhere in between and it doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon.

While I truly believe a private health care system would be ideal, I also believe that it is just never going to happen. A government-run health care system is much more realistic, and for that reason alone, I believe we should adopt it. As I mentioned earlier, we are caught in between private and government-run health care. Of the three options- private, government, or in-between,- in-between is by far the worst. Since our best option of privatized health care is not very realistic, it only makes sense to upgrade to the next best option: government-run health care.

As I led off with, some things simply transcend politics. When the dollar is the bottom line in health care instead of, well, health care, nobody wins. We will let a child die from cancer simply because his parents cannot afford to pay. Thankfully, I don't think this situation plays out as often as it otherwise would thanks to generous public support. If the public finds out about a tragic situation like this, they will either put so much pressure on the insurance company so it becomes their best interest to go-ahead with the coverage, or the public raises funds and simply pays for it themselves. But if it were left to our current health care system alone, let us make no bones about it, we would let a child die simply because he cannot pay.

Only government can provide the means to ensure that all citizens are covered, no matter what their ailment, no matter what their financial situation, and no matter their age. It will not matter whether the condition is pre-existing or not. Government can and should provide health care to everybody. Politics and economics aside, it is just the right thing to do.


Larry Eubanks said...

I don't think you tried to explain why you think a "free market" approach to health care is unrealistic.

I also wonder how you would describe the allocation of resources to health care if "provided by the government." I suspect the view you have is this regard may well be a view I think is unrealistic with respect to government provision.

I understand a normative concern for sick children, but I suspect, given scarcity, that the response you would hope for is either (1) not feasible (maybe utopian?) or (2) would have far too much opportunity cost over time.

My suppositions may be incorrect. So, a few more details in your post would help make your assumptions and predictions for government allocation more apparent.

Austin Frindt said...

Thank you for the critique. I understand that blog post required a lot more detail, but since it's a blog post and not a paper, I felt brevity was more appropriate. In order to explain my position fully, I would have had to write a 10 page paper.

Craig T Glackman said...

I wonder two things:1- who is government and who would make the decisions on who gets what. I assume you dare to use the word fair, which I do not believe there is a definition. How many burocrats would it take to make a decision and file the paperwork and so on. 2- have you considered the economics of it? How would the pay system go? Would everyone pay the same? If not, I would certainly pay more than you do since I work full time and you are a student with little income (I am just assuming, not infering). If I pay $6,000 a year and you pay, say $500 a year and you use $6,000 worth of medical care and I do not, then I just paid for your medical care. Isn't that redistribution of wealth. I suppose that would make me "The Forgotten Man"
I would also askthat you consider the power that is associated with those in government and look at the former USSR and how corruption of power with the burocrats destroyed communism.

Craig T Glackman said...

" I would have had to write a 10 page paper." I would also mention this: life is simple, freedom and liberty are simple, the US Constitution was designed to be simple. If it takes you more than a paragraph to defend government intrusion into liberty and freedom, then it probably enfringes upon those two sacred ideas.

Austin Frindt said...

You are operating under the assumption that efficiency should be goal of economics. When I started out by saying that some things transcend politics (how could a republican like me possibly be advocating government run healthcare?!) also included in that can be some things transcend efficient economics. I will not even try to argue that government run healthcare will be efficeint. It will not be. I also start out by saying that private healthcare would be much better in quality, price, coverage, just about everything. But it is more feasible, I believe, under our current political situation, to go with government healthcare, not private healthcare. Since people are dying because we cannot make up our minds, we need to solve this problem as quickly as possible. While government run healthcare is not the best solution, it is certainly better than what we have now. And if it's at least a step in the right direction, (of getting people covered) shouldn't we at least take it?

Craig T Glackman said...


I am wondering if you could please explain to me exactly who government is. In your comment on the other blog, you stated that government is learning its lesson. I am having a hard time knowing exactly who is government. I know for sure it is not one person and I am confident "it"(government) does not have a concious or learn.

As to efficency. You assume too much when you think I am concerned with efficiency If you could explain to me what the term efficiency is, or for that matter, what the term fair means, I would appreciate.

Rather, I am opperatin under he understanding of liberty and freedom. Do not try to argue that government is efficient, rather convince me that the coercive force of government will not take away my freedoms or trample on my liberties, then I may listen to your ideas of (coercive) government run healthcare.