Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Common and Inane Argument Against National Health Care

A supposedly smart and informed person says this (h/t) :

Basically, for me, it all boils down to public choice theory. Once we've got a comprehensive national health care plan, what are the government's incentives? I think they're bad, for the same reason the TSA is bad. I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it.

The heart of what she's saying: We shouldn't have national health care because it might have flaws.

You know what, Megan McArdle - I'm guessing the millions of families with no health insurance will take the not perfect health care provided by the government and be pretty much alright with the fact that it's not perfect. Same as they take the not perfect police force, fire departments, post office, national park service, Medicare, Congress, and other government funded services.

What she's also saying is that we shouldn't have national health care because it won't drive innovation - like you get with private, greed-driven health care. Unbelievable. When your insurance company denies you an expensive cancer treatment - thank Megan McArdle and the super awesome innovative thinkers in Big Pharma and Big Insurance. They're what make this country neato.

And can anyone say "NASA"? Have they ever been, like, I don't know - innovative? And we do still have a National Institute of Health, don't we? What's their mission?

Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

Maybe we could get them some more funding?

And again, how does your imaginings of lost innovation matter to people who don't have any insurance and any way to provide proper health care for themselves and their kids? McArdle's answer:

At this juncture in the conversation, someone almost always breaks in and says, "Why don't you tell that to an uninsured person?" I have. Specifically, I told it to me. I was uninsured for more than two years after grad school, with an autoimmune disease and asthma. I was, if anything, even more militant than I am now about government takeover of insurance.

"I told it to me."

Kill me. Just kill me.

After grad school you had no insurance for two years? But apparently have had it since? And had it all the years before that, I'll assume through your parents? And you're now able to get your conditions treated on a regular basis without going into debt? Or getting sicker and dying? Am I right? And this speaks to people who cannot afford health care how?

Good god. I can't go on.


No comments: