Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Government run health care bad, private insurance good

The Wall Street Journal editorial page trots out its familiar government is rationing care alarmist message: this is the link here.

Under highly centralized national health care, the government inevitably makes cost-minded judgments about what types of care are "best" for society at large, and the standardized treatments it prescribes inevitably steal life-saving options from individual patients. This is precisely why many liberals like former White House budget director Peter Orszag support government-run health care to control costs: Technocrats in government can then decide who gets Avastin for cancer, say, and who doesn't.

I'm not sure how the Journal editorial staff thinks private insurance works. Are they unaware that health insurance companies routinely deny care to save money? I fail to see the moral distinction between denial of care by government vs. the denial of care by the private sector. As the libertarian columnist Steven Chapman, no fan of the health care law, points out: Any time a third party pays for patients' care, that party will make the decisions in its interests, not in the patients' interests. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Our resources are limited, and unfortunately every patient cannot receive any treatment he wants. That is the cold truth, and all the hysteria over "death panels" and "rationing" doesn't change the reality of the situation.

I might also point out that the editorial's criticism of Orsazg seems inconsistent with the general conservative message of the last few years, i.e. liberals are fiscally irresponsible and are bankrupting us. Apparently, now liberals are too concerned with saving money! Some people are just never satisfied.

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