Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Thomas Sowell on health care

Thomas Sowell's column today is powerful, because at no time does he advocate government intervention in medicine or health insurance. He begins with a very good discussion of health care in the context of the first 30 years of his life as an uninsured American who paid cash for medical services.

The column begins:

During the first 30 years of my life, I had no health insurance. Neither did a lot of other people, back in those days.

During those 30 years, I had a broken arm, a broken jaw, a badly injured shoulder, and miscellaneous other medical problems. To say that my income was below average during those years would be a euphemism.

How did I manage? The same way everybody else managed: I went to doctors and I paid them directly, instead of paying indirectly through taxes.

This was all before politicians gave us the idea that the things we could not afford individually we could somehow afford collectively through the magic of government.

When my jaw was broken, I was treated in an emergency room and was given a bill for $50 -- which was like a king's ransom to me at the time, 1949. But I paid it off in installments over a period of months....

The comments to the column are worth reading as well.