Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Socialized Medicine 2009: What is Choice Worth?

Plumbers. Have you ever called a plumber? Have you ever called one on a weekend? It's expensive. Very expensive. Don't get me wrong - they do a very important job. I would gladly pay for their expertise in an emergency. Busted pipes can definitely ruin a weekend.
But what if you don't like the one you called? What if they rub you the wrong way? What if they are rude or surly? Ask anybody and they'll likely give you the same response. They'd flip open the yellow pages or check the internet and find a new one. No hard feelings. You see, you have a right to spend your money however you see fit. Plumbers know this, so they work to provide a service that is likely to please their customers, lest they get "fired". The arrangement between plumbers and their customers is one of a free association between two free and consenting people.
Medicine, on the other hand, is under assault in this sense. If you don't like your doctor, you have the right to go to another one that suits you better. You can decide not to associate with a doctor for any reason, or for no reason. Under government health care, however, this is destroyed.
Even if President Obama's socialist dreams of large, government-run "super-clinics" fails to come to fruition, you must realize that any professional relationship where one of the parties is forced is problematic. When a doctor is forced to see you, the doctor-patient relationship, one based on mutual respect, market pressures, and a free association is destroyed.
It is interesting to me to note that many of the same people who argue vehemently that gay marriages or civil unions must be respected because government has no right to interfere in the free association between free, consenting adults are the same people who argue with equal vigor that doctors should be forced to see whomever, under whatever circumstances the government mandates.
It is time for you to decide what your rights to free association are worth. Once government runs health care, they will have to contend with the same difficulties that have made health insurers some of the most detested companies on earth. When money is limited, there are only two ways to decrease the cost of services provided: cuts in services or cuts in who is covered.
Since "universal coverage" is the mandate that government has chosen for itself in this endeavor, this leaves cuts in services as the only viable option to cut those costs. Your choice of physicians will be secondary. If there is a doctor available, then their responsibility to you is finished. They couldn't care less if you like him or her. If you don't, you will not have any choice left. After all, it won't be your money paying for it. It will be ours. As for me, I hope they give you the cheapest option, not necessarily the best. It's my money you'll be spending.
What is your choice worth to you? And what is quality worth? What if your child needs an expensive but life-saving operation? The best place to have it done is Kansas City, but you live in Santa Fe. Oh, well. Pray that the inferior but "accredited" program in Santa Fe can get the job done. You're not taking your child to Kansas City.
Are you willing to sacrifice your child on the altar of social justice for others? Are you willing to sacrifice someone else's child? If you are, then you are a fool. If your self-righteousness is so powerful that you are willing to subject an innocent to your social experimentation, if you don't want the best for your child - just the same as everyone else, then I would classify you as a child abuser.
If, on the other hand, you (like me) are not willing to trust someone else with the health of your own child, especially an incompetent and self-interested government, then you know already what course you must take. You must oppose socialized medicine with the same animalistic furor as you would defend your child's room from an intruder, as I do. My choice is worth everything to me. It is one element of my liberty, and I would rather die than live as a subject or a slave.