Monday, March 16, 2009

Pisaturo on ObamaCare

In the March 11, 2009 edition of Capitalism Magazine, Ron Pisaturo argues that "Obama's Socialist 'Reforms' for American Healthcare are Impractical and Immoral".

Here's an excerpt:
...But the impracticality of socialized medicine goes far deeper than inefficiency. Socialized medicine -- which already dominates American medicine through Medicare, Medicaid, and persecution of the drug and insurance industries -- is impractical because it rests on the immoral premise that healthcare is a right, that healthcare must be provided equally for all.

Consider the contrasting case of the computer industry, which is much freer than the healthcare industry. When the newest, most souped-up, most software-laden computer with the most comprehensive service contract first comes out, it might cost $20,000 or more. Only wealthy Americans choose to buy, or can afford to buy, such an expensive model. Most Americans settle for a model and service contract that costs maybe $1,000 or less. But a couple of years later, after manufacturers have improved their manufacturing ability and brought their costs down, they can sell the old souped-up model for $1,000; and then the average man can enjoy what only the wealthiest could afford a couple of years earlier. Meanwhile, the wealthy can now buy an even more amazing new computer for $20,000.

This has been the pattern of all technological progress in all industries throughout the Industrial Revolution. A poor immigrant today making less than minimum wage off the books can afford to pay for a life-saving antibiotic that the richest of the rich could not obtain a few generations ago.

But suppose the government declares that owning a computer is a right, and so every American has the right to a quality computer, the best computer available. Then progress becomes an enemy of the state. Every new, $20,000 computer has to be provided to everyone. And so, instead of the average computer cost per person being around $1,000, the average cost is $20,000.

The government's only recourse is to outlaw progress.

Moreover, some people who had no computer before are now entitled to one. And they need more service, because they keep spilling booze on it. And those who had two computers must do with only one, with less service. And soon the computer models become more stripped down, because that's the only way to pay for an equal computer for all.

And so it has been going in America's socialized healthcare industry for the past two generations...
Read the whole thing.

As usual, the combination of moral and economic arguments is more powerful than either alone.