Monday, March 21, 2011

Haynes on Berwick

The 3/20/2011 PajamasMedia has published an OpEd by Dr. Beth Haynes of The Black Ribbon Project, "Vilifying Dr. Berwick -- for the Wrong Reasons".

Here is the opening:
If you don't like ObamaCare, you probably really don’t like Donald Berwick, the current administrative head of Medicare and Medicaid.

You know him. He's the one who’s "in love" with the Britain's National Health Service, the guy who insists that we "must -- must -- redistribute wealth," and tells us that, since rationing is unavoidable, we’d best do it "with our eyes open."

But in regards to government-funded health care -- including Medicare and Medicaid -- Dr. Berwick is right, so it does no good to shoot the messenger.
(Read the full text of "Vilifying Dr. Berwick -- for the Wrong Reasons".)

Dr. Haynes is right -- Berwick holds terrible ideas, but he's also a symptom of the much deeper disease of statism. He merely exemplifies it in a particularly open and clear fashion. But the underlying idea that government can and should guarantee health care as some sort of "right" must be fought in all forms.

(I also appreciated Dr. Haynes clarification of the distinction between free markets and rationing. For more on this point, I highly recommend the essays by Ari Armstrong, "The Market Does Not Ration Health Care: Voluntary Exchange Is Not Rationing (Part 1)" and the related Part 2.)