Today’s Guest Saturday post comes to us from the excellent blogger A Conservative Teacher. From the title you may think this essay is about ObamaCare. It is in fact about freedom and the free market system. This article was originally published on Wednesday, May 23, 2013.
Obamacare is Politicized Medicine?
When I was in college I had a fierce argument with my college professor over whether the United States should move towards any sort of “political economy.”
My professor was arguing that America should move towards a political economy, which according to him was a ‘free market’ economy that would serve the goals of politicians. In his opinion, the purpose and function of an economy is to help society to deal with political and governmental issues- that the market’s purpose was to serve the government and that such an economy could be described as a ‘political economy.’ In this economy, decisions about the buying and selling of products, the manufacture of goods, and the hiring and firing of employees, etc should be made by politicians- usually unelected ‘experts’ with degree’s in social sciences- from a standpoint of what would best serve the political goals of the nation (according to them).
My argument was that if America moved toward this sort of economy citizens would be less free, less prosperous, and less protected in their lives. I argued that the economy that my professor was describing- this sort of ‘political economy’- was more accurately a command economy since decisions were made from a political point of view rather than an economic one. Further, the decisions that were made would be made inefficiently due to the disconnect between the supplier and the customer and would be made corruptly due to the role that political connections would play. A society that implemented such a ‘political economy’ would be less prosperous and free.
In my opinion which I expressed to him the purpose and function of government is to help protect the economy, protect citizen’s role in making free economic decisions, and protect the right of those citizens to acquire and keep property. In this economy, decisions regarding economic matters would be made by people, for people, to benefit people, in the people’s opinion. It would not be a perfect economic model- no economy designed by a flawed man is likely to be- but it would be superior to any sort of fascist system that my college professor wanted to move America towards.
These sorts of debates are not esoteric- they are not of unusual interest that do not matter. These sorts of debates very much matter because President Obama is one of those who believed in my college professor and bought into his arguments about the role of government in society. Obama bought arguments like the ‘public choice‘ theory that led for him to pass Obamacare.
Under Obamacare decisions regarding healthcare for individuals are going to be made by the unelected (and sometimes elected) bureaucrats for what they believe would benefit the majority (or the voting majority) of people, and economic principles will only be harnessed is they serve the political goals of government officials and their clients. A ‘free’ market won’t be utilized- instead the government will attempt to command the marketplace by using its power. America will move closer to the British system, where this is already the case.
And in the British system of healthcare government medicine is increasingly politicized medicine, as this story reminds us. From Powerlineblog story ANNALS OF GOVERNMENT MEDICINE:
…Here is the latest: a National Health Service rationing panel refused to pay for surgery that was needed by Rebecca Beattie, 25, to repair her face after it was smashed by an abusive ex-husband. Her breathing is impaired, and her need for the surgery seemed indisputable. Yet the rationing panel turned her down four times. At the same time, the panel approved breast augmentation surgery for a would-be stripper named Josie Cunningham….
…The story may seem bizarre, but this is what happens when every medical decision is a political decision. Why did Josie’s augmentation surgery get approved? Who knows? Maybe she has political influence; maybe she knows someone on the rationing panel; maybe she paid a bribe; maybe someone on the rationing panel just likes strippers with big chests.
But the Sun didn’t only report. It campaigned, urging its readers to weigh in on behalf of Ms. Beattie. Today the paper headlined: The Sun forces NHS rethink on Rebecca nose op decision. Following our story Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt looked into the case yesterday and was told a rethink was under way at GP-led Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group….
…Why stop here? Maybe the British could have a reality TV show where patients would plead their cases and viewers would vote on who should get surgery. This is, obviously, no way to run a health care system. But government medicine is, inherently, politicized medicine, and this is the path on which Barack Obama has set us.
Voting for President Obama and Democrats who support him is voting for this sort of corrupt and inefficient way of delivering healthcare to those who need it.
Reject it, and reject them in the next elections, or else some day when you need live-saving surgery you better hope that you have the right political friends or connections. Or else you will die.