case against universal health care by lanyuehua


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  There is no right to healthcare

  The United States was founded with the declaration that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness.” The Founders recognized that all men have a moral right to be free from the
coercion of others, as long as they allow others the same freedom. They believed that rights do not
impose a positive obligation on others, but only the negative obligation to restrain from the initiation of
force.The claim that there is a “right to healthcare” violates the principle of individual rights because it
requires that the liberty of doctors and the property of taxpayers be violated to provide for others.
When the New Deal and Great Society programs forced doctors and taxpayers to become sacrificial
offerings to the “common good”, the current “healthcare crisis” was born.

  The myth of “free” healthcare

  It is a common belief that when government provides something, it is free or cheap. But politicians
cannot create wealth – they can only redistribute it. Money for all government spending comes from
business – whether by entrepreneurial investment, the wages of patients, or taxes.Whether by price
controls of outright nationalization, when governments make prices artificially low, demand
skyrockets, and shortages result. Politicians respond by passing ever more regulations to control costs.
These regulations stifle innovation, drive up costs, and force healthcare providers out of business. The
end result is to replace capitalism, the greatest wealth-generating system known to man, with an
onerous system of central planning.Capitalism cannot guarantee that all our medical needs will be
provided for – no system can do that. But it does give entrepreneurs the incentive to compete to
provide the best possible service they can. Centralized socialized systems have no incentive to improve
service or to try bold new techniques. Politicians can force prices to be artificially low, but they cannot
lower costs – they can only drive doctors, hospitals, and drug companies out of business.

  The victims of “universal” healthcare

   The waiting time for treatment in Canada varies from 14 to 30 weeks. Waiting lists for diagnostic
procedures range from two to 24 weeks. Some patients die while waiting for treatment. To stop sick
people from circumventing the “free” system, the government of British Columbia enacted Bill 82 in
2003, which makes it illegal to pay for private surgery. Patients waiting for critical procedures are now
forced to seek procedures in the U.S. and doctors are abandoning Canada in droves. Cleveland, Ohio is
now Canada’s hip-replacement center. Ontario is turning nurses into doctors to replace some of the
10,000 doctors who left Canada in the 1990’s. 1 2

   What will patients do when it is illegal to seek private medical treatment in the U.S.? Politicians are
already working towards that goal. State and federal regulation impose onerous regulations which
forbid insurance companies from offering services such as basic coverage for emergencies by requiring
coverage of many types of procedures. Medicare forces doctors to follow 130,000 pages of regulations.
Critics often attack the “capitalist” nature of American health care system. The reality is that the
government now pays for 50% of health care, and closely regulates the rest.

  Healthcare is only affordable under capitalism

  If a society is not wealthy enough to afford healthcare, health socialism will not make it richer. Cuba,
a poster child of socialist healthcare schemes, spends $229 on healthcare per person each year, while
the U.S. spends $ 6,096.3 Premium services are available only to paying foreigners, while natives must
bribe doctors for timely treatment and bring their own towels, bed sheets, soap, food, and even

   A government can decide to replace individual choice with state-mandated decisions of what goods
and services are more important for the “common good.” But it can only spend on one area at the
expense of another. If Cubans are not totally deprived of medical treatment, it can only be at the
expense of all other goods. A doctor’s salary in Cuba is 1.5 times the median at $15-20 per month. 5 A
telling sign of their deprivation is the Cuban suicide rate, which is the highest in Latin America and
among the highest in world. Cubans in Miami on the other hand, kill themselves less often than other
Miamians.6 When they risk their lives in leaky boats to escape to the U.S., the right to make their own
decisions regarding their health is among the freedoms they hope to gain.

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