Two Wrongs Don’t Make [Healthcare] a Right!
Nov 2, 2012
By Lou Magdon, 4th Year Medical Student
You’ve heard the phrase before. I know I have. You were most likely a kid. In response to what you perceived as some grave injustice inflicted upon yourself by a sibling or friend, overcome with emotion, you retaliated to settle the score. As a scolding adult approached, maybe a parent or teacher, you quickly plead your case. “He started it!” And that is when the hammer of reason came down on you. The adult would immediately reply, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!”
With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the subsequent Supreme Court decision to uphold the law, the elections next week seem all the more important for the preservation of freedom in medicine. But regardless of what happens next week, the healthcare reform debate must and will continue. As the economic inefficiency of Obamacare continues to surface along with the loss of patient and physician freedom and choice, the moral argument against government interference in healthcare must be made more than ever.
Unfortunately for all of us, the healthcare marketplace is not a free market. As a result, we have many more people than otherwise would be that have trouble obtaining health insurance and/or quality medical care. Stories emerge of people being denied care because of a pre-existing condition, people going bankrupt over medial bills, crowded emergency departments filled with people without insurance, poor people unable to afford care, etc. These hardships are appropriately viewed by both freedom advocates and big government supporters as wrong. Our hearts go out to people who fall on hard times. It is the response to this wrong that differentiates those who use common-sense and reason and those who react upon juvenile emotion.
Unable to see the distortions of supply and demand for medical care because of government meddling and how it makes healthcare less affordable and less accessible, the Left doubles down on their support for more government control. They advocate for the second wrong. Because of the perceived inequality in the consumption of healthcare resources, out of “fairness”, they wish to have bureaucrats decide what physicians can and can not offer and what care patients will and will not receive. They support government coercion to take both property and freedom of choice away from Americans to redistribute the healthcare resources how they choose. They accomplish this task by fraudulently proclaiming the artificial right to healthcare. Your individual rights to live peacefully no longer matter. Your liberty is essentially stolen from you.
There is a moral and more economic way to alleviate those initial wrongs. Freedom is the solution to our healthcare woes. It also happens to be consistent with the ideas upon which this country was founded; the idea that our individual rights were endowed to us by our Creator and not from the government. Government was instituted to secure these individual rights and not to steal resources from one group of people to give others free birth control or free preventative care. We can accomplish this by moving in the opposite direction of Obamacare. By freeing both the health insurance and medical care market, we can make quality healthcare more affordable and more accessible. Though, despite our best efforts, there will always be a select group of people that can not afford their own care. As was the case in the past before the government got so involved, the generosity of physicians, charitable organizations, and other community members will be more than adequate.
The moral argument for freedom in medicine must be made along side the economic benefits. A discussion of where our rights come from can help put the proper role of government in perspective. Exposing the “two wrongs make a right” view for its emotional, knee-jerk reaction and flawed, naïve logic is one way we could begin to move our healthcare system back toward freedom. So next time you hear someone supporting the absurd idea of “free” healthcare from the government, be the adult and explain to them, “Two wrongs don’t make healthcare a right!”