Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hsieh in TOS: Health Care and the Separation of Charity and State

The Spring 2011 issue of The Objective Standard has published my latest short article, "Health Care and the Separation of Charity and State".

Here is the opening:
If someone in America needs medical care but cannot afford it, should he rely on charity or should others be forced to pay for it? President Obama and his political allies say that Americans should be forced to pay for it. Forcing some Americans to pay medical bills for other Americans, says Obama, is a "moral imperative" and "the right thing to do."

Throughout the health-care debate of 2010–11, Obama repeatedly referred to government-run health care as "a core ethical and moral obligation," arguing that, "No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick." In speeches, he repeatedly cited the story of Natoma Canfield, an Ohio cancer patient without health insurance, as a justification for his health-care legislation.

Many of Obama's supporters on the political left made similar moral claims. Vanderbilt University professor Bruce Barry wrote in the New York Times that, "Health insurance in a civilized society is a collective moral obligation." T. R. Reid, former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, called universal health care a "moral imperative." Ezra Klein, another writer for the Washington Post, agreed that it is an "ethical obligation."

But all such claims are wrong -- morally wrong...
(Read more of "Health Care and the Separation of Charity and State".)

TOS subscribers can read the full piece online. Non-subscribers can purchase PDF's for $4.95 at the article website.

Update: Thank you, David Catron, for the link at HealthCare BS!

Update: Thank you, Dr. Milton Wolf, for the link at Wolf Files!