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Thursday, October 15, 2020

What happens with a 'right' to health care

Democrats are running election ads framing the choice on November 3, 2020, as “giving health care to everyone” or “taking health care away” from everyone. As if.

Health care is a service. It costs money. People providing it need to be paid. Health care is 1/6 of the American economy. It's not 100% of the economy.

The supply of health care providers—everyone practicing medicine—exceeds the possible demands on the health care system—everyone else.

No matter the policy or law in place, these limits are built-in. There's no way around the fact that the general population is larger than the health care provider population.

Paying for health care, like paying for anything else, helps match supply to demand.

If there's no financial friction to accessing health care, everyone would feel more free to access the health care system and that increased demand would exceed the capacity of available health care providers. Demand must be held down to levels that can be met by available supply. No one can provide unlimited health care to everyone. Prices change to make these adjust to ever-changing demands.

If Democrats want to “get money out of medicine” (to borrow a phrase), and ban people from paying for health care, then after having increased demand by reducing financial friction, they must then find other ways to artificially reduce demand. They're claiming to solve a problem they're creating.

If people are not free to determine how much they value health care by how much they're willing to pay for it, then they're leaving it to government officials to make a determination, not just on how valuable the health care is, but on how valuable the people are to be worthy of the now-government-determined investment of a limited supply of health care.

That's what it means for everyone to have a “right” to health care—the government gets to determine who the right people are to receive care.

I don't want Democrats or Republicans making that determination.

The Affordable Care Act which the Democrats passed in 2010 is a huge step toward giving that kind of power to the government. It rightfully remains under court challenge, and I continue to support efforts by Republicans or anyone else to remove it from U.S. law. That doesn't “take health care away,” it just takes away control from the government and leaves it with the people.

Health care is indeed a large question in this election. The question is not who gets health care, but will the people retain their right to make that determination.

Health care only comes from people getting paid to provide it, and whoever pays has control. If the government is paying for it, they have control. If the people are paying for it, they have control.

Answering objections:

Some may say, the government is paying for health care now, and I still have control.

First, the government isn't already paying for all health care now, and with what limited care it pays for now, it's already not financially sustainable for the long-term.

When our financial excess catches up with us, the financial pressure on the government to make health care decisions for citizens will be on full display for all to see.

The consequences of the course we take, if we let government pay for health care, are unavoidable. Government would have no choice but to reduce how much it pays. Not everyone will get care. Some people will be denied care. Even when deciding based on the same criteria individuals would use, government inherently would come to different conclusions about how to allocate funds for health care.

Some may question how this approach would work out for the poor.

It's important to realize that the spread of incomes in America is not nearly as wide as Bernie Sanders would have us believe. A person making 15 times the top poverty level in America is in the top one percent of earners.

If a poor person gets sick, it's worth it to spend a day's wage on a 30-minute visit with their doctor if it helps restore them to health.

If expenses get larger and need major surgery or therapy, that's where catastrophic coverage would be useful. Unfortunately, ACA bans catastrophic coverage—another reason striking down the law would help America.

There's a reason Democrats and progressives must constantly use the language of “crisis” to push their agenda. We're not nearly as bad off as they make it seem. God has indeed bountifully blessed us with health care professionals that can abundantly thrive and provide effective care when free to do so. Why we consider a healthy part of the economy to be a burden is a mystery that only makes sense through eyes inverted by government intervention where it does not belong.

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