Sunday, December 20, 2009

The illusion of design

The basic argument in favor of government-run health care, among people who sincerely believe it’s the best way to reform the medical system, is that a program designed and administered by the State will provide health care to more people. As things stand, a certain number of people have no health insurance, and this is held to be unfair and dangerous… to the extent that the rest of us must endure a radical overhaul of the entire system, as the State takes control of the insurance industry first, and eventually all of medicine.

Why do these uninsured people lack coverage? The ostensible reason is that they cannot afford it, although in fact a sizable portion of the uninsured are young people who choose not to purchase expensive insurance, and many more are illegal aliens. Also, the nature of the laws surrounding health insurance make it very expensive to purchase privately, instead of receiving it as part of employment compensation, so rising unemployment (the signature feature of the Obama economy) means more uninsured. Still, the popular conception of the case for health care reform is based on the haunting image of millions of poverty-stricken sick people, wasting away from the lack of health insurance. As the slogan tossed around through Twitter earlier this year put it, “no one should have to die because they can’t afford health insurance.” READ MORE...

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