Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Schwartz PJM OpEd: Health Care Is Not A Privilege, Nor A Right

The September 8, 2009 edition of PajamasMedia has published Dr. Brian Schwartz's latest OpEd, "Health Care Is Not a Privilege... Nor Is It a Right".

Here's an excerpt:
A popular but flawed argument is that "health care is a right, not a privilege." Health care is neither a right nor a privilege. Rather, we all have the right to seek medical treatment through voluntary trade or charity.

Ironically, those who claim health care is "a right and not a privilege" support policies that make it a privilege. When government enforces an alleged "right" to health care, the political class decides what health care is and when it's appropriate for people to get it. That is, health care becomes a privilege granted by those in charge.

For example, Canadian authorities deemed Bill Murray of Alberta “too old” for a hip procedure -- and prohibited him from paying for it himself...
(Read the full text of "Health Care Is Not a Privilege... Nor Is It a Right".)

In my opinion, this concept that health care is not a right is the key to the debate. If the debate is confined to, "How should the government provide 'universal health care'?" then we're sunk.

But once the debate shifts to, "Should the government provide any kind of 'universal health care' at all?", then we have a fighting chance.

Brian also comments regularly about health care policy issues at his blog (a blog for the Independence Institute).

Anyone who is planning on attending one of the many September 12 rallies on health care might also be interested in his recent post, "Free Market Health Care Slogans".

And another one of his pieces just appeared in the September 5, 2009 Boulder Daily Camera, "Single payer: rationing both ideas and medicine".

Congratulations, Brian, on getting published in PajamasMedia!