March 4, 2019
By Alex Karidis
As we enter the 2020 Presidential campaign, there is a constant theme that is likely to resonate throughout its entirety – healthcare is a right and must be provided by the government. First off, healthcare is not a right. Secondly, it should most definitely not be provided by the government. Yet despite what seems rather common sensical to The Kapital News, this message somehow resonates very strongly with millions of Americans. Well it’s free they say! (Massive eye-roll, seriously?!)
The 2020 Presidential line-up on the Democrat side already has its cast of characters. From Pocahontas to Spartacus to Democratic Socialists, there’s surely someone for everybody to like, especially when they offer so much FREE stuff! However, anyone who is honest with themselves knows that nothing is free and when politicians claim it will be free, it will surely be both unaffordable and unsustainable. So, while the likes of Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders are all jockeying for position to be the biggest giver of FREE stuff, perhaps an initial discussion on whether healthcare is a right and should be provided by the government should be addressed? We think that’s appropriate, so here we go.
First, while this may be more about semantics, it’s important to note the difference between healthcare and medical care. Healthcare in our opinion is about your personal health and has more to do with your diet, eating habits, and exercise routine, or lack thereof. Surely you are in complete control of these variables as no one is preventing you from eating your fruits and veggies, and if you want to do some push-up and sit-ups, get to it! There isn’t anyone who will tell you that eating healthy and exercising daily is bad for your health – so we should all be on the same page so far. Now onto medical care. This is better defined as the counsel and treatment one receives from a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, technician, etc. Their goal along with that of the individual should be the same – to stay healthy and/or to become healthier. With their educational and professional training, these experts can provide remedies, make suggestions, and perform procedures to assist with making you healthier. This too should all be common sensical. However, in the latter, you are placing your trust and confidence in the opinion of these experts. Therefore, you are not 100% in control of their decision(s) or suggestion(s), but you can 100% choose to accept or decline their treatment. We go to these professionals for their advice and treatment. This then means, that these individuals are offering their labor, which is a service, in exchange for a fee. We do not have the right to someone’s labor, period! We’ll touch on this later.
So where is the real difference and why does all this need to be considered a right and provided for by the government? Firstly, you are pretty much 100% in control of your health regarding your dietary choices and exercise routines. All else equal, someone who eats healthy and exercises regularly is in better health than those who do not. Therefore, unless they suffer from some genetic disorder or suffer an accident or injury, their interactions with medical professionals will be minimal. Counter this with someone who does not eat healthy nor exercises and the likelihood of needing medical attention increases. This is especially true as on ages. Again, common sensical.
We now enter into our first argument: why should those who eat healthy and exercise must pay and subsidize the poor decision-making of those who do not? Aren’t good deeds to be rewarded? Not only in the form of a healthier life, but more of your hard-earned dollars to remain in your pocket because you’re not spending them on doctor’s and hospital bills? We shout out a resounding, YES! Yet, the 2020 Democrat Presidential candidates, say otherwise. In fact, they need more people to eat their broccoli and exercise for this FREE program to last longer than a month from a funding standpoint. Of course, this program is “Medicare For All.” However, what this program is more likely to encourage is more poor health habits as opposed to better. This is because poor decisions are being subsidized by the government – which really means your tax dollars. It’s the path of least resistance to eat processed food out of a box and just lie around, and with Medicare for All, who cares if you need medical treatment, it’s covered. Thanks Pocahontas, Spartacus, and Crazy Bernie – you economic policy geniuses.
Therefore, insurance markets make the most sense and not FREE government programs. Insurance is in the business of managing risks and pricing their policies accordingly. In our above example, the person who eats healthy and exercises, all else equal will pay a lower monthly premium. While the unhealthier individual will pay a higher monthly premium. Why? Because they are a higher risk. This is plain and simple and makes complete sense. If you’re unhealthy, you’re more likely to need more medical attention and thus incur higher costs relative to a healthier person. Therefore, the insurance company requires a higher premium to be compensated for the increase in risk. Free-market: Want a lower premium – get healthier. Government: It’s FREE, do what you want. Insurance companies are not charities. They are in business to make money and to remain in business. Let it also be known that government is not a charity either. However, politicians love being charitable with other peoples’ money. This is not the role of government. Simply look at the obesity epidemic in the USA or the drug and opioid crisis. Should the choices made by these individuals to either exhibit an unhealthy lifestyle and/or engage in drug use be subsidized by those who do not? If people want to contribute to these individuals’ medical bills, they can do so voluntarily either by giving them their money directly or indirectly via a charity. This is a stark distinction. Charity is voluntary and government is force – it is mandated. What part of this do people not understand?
We can rack our brains by going through the numbers that are in the trillions of dollars by the way, regarding government’s involvement in the medical care arena. However, we will save these statistics for another time. Clearly, at this point, we have demonstrated that no one has the RIGHT to someone else’s labor. The exchange of a service for a fee is a voluntary transaction. There’s that voluntary word again. No one should be forced or mandated to provide a service. Isn’t forced labor considered slavery? Still want to vote for this “Socialist Utopia?”
Let’s look at it this way. Say we have an older doctor, still very much capable of performing his duties. However, he is older and can retire, but he would rather continue with his practice. In our example, let’s say this doctor wants to continue with his practice, but wants to cut back on office hours, cut down on his current patient list, and as such, does not want to see any new patients. If the government makes medical care a right, what does this mean? Will this doctor have the ability to turn potential patients away? The government wants to be in the business of telling insurance companies that they cannot deny coverage to people, so would the same hold true in this instance? Afterall they say, it is a right and so how can your rights be denied? Now what is this doctor to do? If he is forced/mandated to take all patients who call for an appointment, he is likely to just retire. Great, now we’ve just lost the supply of a doctor. This will translate into higher costs and longer wait times, because now his current patients will have to go elsewhere in a market with fewer doctors because this one just retired. So much for FREE and containing costs.
This hits on another important point, if the government gets involved, they have a fiduciary duty to manage the people’s money as best as possible. Will this translate into attempting to control how much doctors can be paid? What happens if they set a family doctor’s salary below that which the market would pay? Oh, yeah that’s right, you won’t have family doctor’s or there will be fewer of them than otherwise would’ve been the case. The result: longer wait times. Don’t you just love these Socialist policies?!
Lastly, there is no denying that we have the right to free speech, peaceful assembly, the press, basically the First Amendment is not in question. Yet, if you want to peacefully protest, do you go to a government office and ask for money so you can go buy a big sign for your protest rally? NO! Do you go to a government office to get a check because you want to build the next media empire? NO! What about your Second Amendment right to bear arms? Do you go to a government office and demand money so you can go buy a .45 pistol and an AK-47, and ammunition? NO! Rights do NOT translate into payments by the government to you. If one of these Socialist Presidential contenders should take the time to read the US Constitution, they would understand that our rights have to do with limiting the government and restricting their ability to toil in our lives as we seek our own personal successes and happiness. If the government gets even more involved in a sector that comprises 17% of our country’s GDP, how exactly is that limiting their powers? Quite the contrary as it gives them near total control of you, as what is more personal than one’s health? It must be understood that our Founding Fathers claimed that our rights came from our Creator, our God, because it’s based in the following idea: That which God giveth, man cannot taketh away. Recall we fought not just the British in the American Revolutionary War, but the broader idea of control from and by governments. History shows us that world leaders have likened themselves to god-kings and earthly-gods with unlimited power. The United States of America was founded fighting this tyrannical belief. Instead saying that the many – you, the individual, is sovereign and by the consent of the people, they shall be governed. Let us not devolve into such Socialist beliefs and the atrocities that surely await us on the other side. Healthcare is NOT a right.