Friday, October 29, 2010

Against Socialized Medicine: The One Minute Case

From One Minute Cases

There is no right to healthcare

The United States was founded with the declaration that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Founders recognized that all men have a moral right to be free from the coercion of others, as long as they allow others the same freedom. They believed that rights do not impose a positive obligation on others, but only the negative obligation to restrain from the initiation of force.

The claim that there is a “right to healthcare” violates the principle of individual rights because it requires that the liberty of doctors and the property of taxpayers be violated to provide for others. When the New Deal and Great Society programs forced doctors and taxpayers to become sacrificial offerings to the “common good”, the current “healthcare crisis” was born.

The myth of “free” healthcare

It is a common belief that when government provides something, it is free or cheap. But politicians cannot create wealth – they can only redistribute it. Money for all government spending comes from business – whether by entrepreneurial investment, the wages of patients, or taxes.

Whether by price controls of outright nationalization, when governments make prices artificially low, demand skyrockets, and shortages result. Politicians respond by passing ever more regulations to control costs. These regulations stifle innovation, drive up costs, and force healthcare providers out of business. The end result is to replace capitalism, the greatest wealth-generating system known to man, with an onerous system of central planning.

Capitalism cannot guarantee that all our medical needs will be provided for – no system can do that. But it does give entrepreneurs the incentive to compete to provide the best possible service they can. Centralized socialized systems have no incentive to improve service or to try bold new techniques. Politicians can force prices to be artificially low, but they cannot lower costs – they can only drive doctors, hospitals, and drug companies out of business.

The victims of “universal” healthcare

The waiting time for treatment in Canada varies from 14 to 30 weeks. Waiting lists for diagnostic procedures range from two to 24 weeks. Some patients die while waiting for treatment. To stop sick people from circumventing the “free” system, the government of British Columbia enacted Bill 82 in 2003, which makes it illegal to pay for private surgery. Patients waiting for critical procedures are now forced to seek procedures in the U.S. and doctors are abandoning Canada in droves. Cleveland, Ohio is now Canada’s hip-replacement center. Ontario is turning nurses into doctors to replace some of the 10,000 doctors who left Canada in the 1990’s. 1 2

What will patients do when it is illegal to seek private medical treatment in the U.S.? Politicians are already working towards that goal. State and federal regulation impose onerous regulations which forbid insurance companies from offering services such as basic coverage for emergencies by requiring coverage of many types of procedures. Medicare forces doctors to follow 130,000 pages of regulations. Critics often attack the “capitalist” nature of American health care system. The reality is that the government now pays for 50% of health care, and closely regulates the rest.

Healthcare is only affordable under capitalism

If a society is not wealthy enough to afford healthcare, health socialism will not make it richer. Cuba, a poster child of socialist healthcare schemes, spends $229 on healthcare per person each year, while the U.S. spends $ 6,096.3 Premium services are available only to paying foreigners, while natives must bribe doctors for timely treatment and bring their own towels, bed sheets, soap, food, and even sutures.4

A government can decide to replace individual choice with state-mandated decisions of what goods and services are more important for the “common good.” But it can only spend on one area at the expense of another. If Cubans are not totally deprived of medical treatment, it can only be at the expense of all other goods. A doctor’s salary in Cuba is 1.5 times the median at $15-20 per month. 5 A telling sign of their deprivation is the Cuban suicide rate, which is the highest in Latin America and among the highest in world. Cubans in Miami on the other hand, kill themselves less often than other Miamians.6 When they risk their lives in leaky boats to escape to the U.S., the right to make their own decisions regarding their health is among the freedoms they hope to gain.


  1. “Free Health Care in Canada” by Walter Williams
  2. “Do We Want Socialized Medicine?” by Walter Williams
  3. Reuters: Health care in Cuba more complicated than on SiCKO
  4. BBC: Keeping Cuba Healthy by John Harris
  5. “An Evaluation of Four Decades of Cuban Healthcare” by Felipe Eduardo Sixto (PDF)
  6. Miami Herald: “Study: Suicide epidemic exists under Castro” by Juan O. Tamayo

Further reading:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Obamacare to Cost 578% More than Expected, Liberal Group Annouces

The liberal health care reform advocacy group, Families USA, commissioned a study of how many Americans will be eligible for subsidies under Obamacare. The study found 28.6 million Americans will be eligible in 2014. The CBO had estimated the number to be only 7 million. The cost difference is $91 billion a year. If this is accurate, Obamacare will cause the deficit to rise as early as 2015.

Verum Serum reported:
A new study by the Lewin Group estimates that 28.6 million Americans will be eligible for a federal subsidy to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014 at a projected cost to tax payers in excess of $110 billion. This estimate is dramatically higher (578%) than the cost of these subsidies forecast by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prior to the bill’s enactment into law.

Instead of hanging their head in shame for helping sell the American taxpayers a lie, Families USA bragged about it in a press release.
Beginning in 2014, almost 29 million middle-income Americans will be eligible for new tax credits to help them afford private health insurance premiums. The historic tax cut in the health reform law, which is estimated to reduce family income taxes by more than $110 billion in 2014 alone, will be provided through tax credits to offset a significant portion of private insurance premium costs.

h/t Bluegrass Pundit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

63,000 Doctor Shortage Coming

The Association of American Medical Colleges recently released estimates that doctor shortages would be 50% worse in 2015 than forecast. This means we will be short 63,000 doctors, and that's just in the next 5 years. It's expected to get worse.

Is there any surprise here? Was Congress not warned time and time again during the healthcare debate? This train wreck is going to barrel down the expected socialist course and any combination of the following will happen:

1. Government will enact risky legislation get nurses (2 yr education)acting as doctors (11 yr education)

2. Government will start screwing around with medical school--taxpayers footing tuition bills as an incentive for prospective students, easier graduation requirements, subsidies, faster graduation and/or residency requirements, etc.

3. Government will bring in doctors from other countries (not uncommon in socialized medicine)

Notice that all three paths involve "government" fixing a problem that they started. Let's pray that November 2nd can put America on a new course