According to the latest Gallup poll, 52% of Americans think the government should be responsible for ensuring everyone has healthcare coverage.
This doesn’t surprise me because we are largely a very compassionate nation. And why shouldn’t we be? Virtually every US citizen alive today has known only freedom and opportunity. (I’m of course setting aside the 15-20% or so who are convinced that we’re an evil, racist nation diseased by “whiteness” which needs to be eradicated.)
Consider our celebrities, for a moment. We all know most of them are rabid leftists. They aspire to a near-utopia that while rhetorically noble, would likely do more harm than good. But why do the celebrities so uniformly lean left? I crafted an equation some years ago that may help explain it…
Humble beginnings + Relatively useless talent * Overnight fame & fortune = Wildly out of touch perspective, aka Hollywood liberals.
To a certain degree, this same equation can help explain why so many Americans so casually believe that healthcare is a right.
If all you’ve ever known is freedom and opportunity, then there’s a good chance you’ve never stopped to thoughtfully explore the origin and/or enemies of each. And it’s just easier to casually nod along with what you believe at first glance to be a moral good, than to apply some critical thought or — worse — risk being the jerk in the room who disagrees.
So I’ll be that jerk, for all of us.
Healthcare is not a right — and simply being born does not entitle you to a doctor’s time, a hospital’s resources or your neighbors paying for both.
Enter you: “You’re just a greedy jerk!”
I can understand why you might think that, but I ask sincerely that you stop to consider this with an open mind: That so many in the US believe healthcare is a right, is itself a product of greed. That so many in the US believe the mere act of being born merits entitlement to a doctor’s time and a hospital’s resources — regardless of an ability to pay — is exponentially more ‘greedy’ than is my refuting that contention.
Assume briefly that we all wake up tomorrow and decide to fully socialize healthcare in the US. Let’s imagine that, beginning next Monday, every US citizen is given a government-issued insurance policy redeemable at any healthcare facility in the nation, which are now all fully run by the government.
Forget about the long lines that form amid what’s perceived to be a now-infinite ‘supply’ of healthcare, resulting in pain for the truly infirmed and an eventual “fix” from the government to help prioritize patients.
Forget that such a “fix” would likely be subject to shifting political winds in addition to the ubiquitous waste, fraud and abuse that’s rampant amid public sector endeavors.
Forget about the totalitarian slippery slope that imminently manifests because Jane exercises 6 times a week and eats healthy, while John smokes 2 packs a day and gorges on fast food — and both Jane and John are equally afforded their entitlement to fully-insured care.
Forget about the obvious, early snags.
Consider the future.
Consider 50 years from now.
Is our healthcare industry as competitive as it once was?
Are aspiring doctors (ie residents) held to the same high bar as they are today, or do we start to lower those bars because we need more doctors to meet the demand manufactured by our promise of a “free” supply?
Before you answer those questions, imagine that you and your neighbor each have your own lemonade stand. At first, you compete for customers. You try to improve the quality, pricing, service and innovation to attract new customers. Now imagine you and your neighbor one day decide that, rather than sell your lemonade to paying customers, people are actually entitled to it regardless of an ability to pay. Now you’re working together with the shared goal of making sure anyone who wants lemonade, gets it. Are you still making improvements? Are you still — with virtually no other competition — trying to do more for your customers? Are you thinking about tomorrow? Or are you just doing what you can right now, day after day, to meet the extraordinarily increased demand of your righteous endeavor?
Handing our healthcare system to the government and treating it like an entitlement will cost the entire industry its competitive edge, and as a direct consequence — hurt exponentially more people than it helps: It’s the actionable equivalent of treating everyone’s common cold today at the expense of curing everyone’s cancer tomorrow.
Celebrities think they’re “saving the world” when they push their out-of-touch morality on everyone else. They don’t know their worldview is warped. They think in entirely simple terms that because “Giving is good,” everyone needs to be forced to do more of it and then the world will be a better place. Their short-sighted conclusions ignore that forcing people to give negates the individual inclination to do so voluntarily. Their ’empathy’ is actually a bigoted sympathy that dismisses as hopeless all whose experiences are diverse from their own, and does more to crush Liberty than to enable it. In other words, the [bigoted] sympathy they foist on those who were not given wild fame and fortune overnight predicated on entirely useless talent — does more to hurt, than to help. What they sincerely believe to be selflessness is actually a pronunciation of their own greed in the face of their own social and moral insecurities that would cripple them were it not for their feigned commitment to “social justice,” etc.
And such is the unfortunate conclusion too often of leftism: Well-intended, but wildly wrong.
And now we, or at least 52% of us, do the same thing when we thoughtlessly pursue the useless benefit of “feeling good” at the expense of truly “doing good.”
The fact still remains that in the USA, most people who need free healthcare do get it. It’s something our free market capitalist system has enabled us to afford, and per the cost-benefit analysis of our national conscience…it’s well worth paying for. And heck if we play our cards right and smarten up how we pay for healthcare (enabling interstate competition, for example) then maybe we can make it even more affordable and expand care even more.
But don’t ever let anyone tell you that healthcare, let alone health insurance, are “rights.” The combination of greed and ignorance it takes to support the claim will make what’s currently a benign socialism in the US become a malignant one, for which the world is yet to find a cure. Should we turn people away at the emergency room who need care? No. But there’s a lot of daylight between that…and selfishly, thoughtlessly, greedily insisting that healthcare and health insurance and doctors’ time and hospitals’ resources and your neighbors paying for it all — is all one inalienable right that you’re entitled to because here you are, in all your glory, gracing us with the moral clarity of your insistence that the United States government should really behave more like Jesus.
That you think you’re entitled to any let alone all of that, is a function of your own greed.
After all, what did your insurer say when you asked to put your uninsured friends on your insurance policy? And if you never even bothered to ask, then please stop patting yourself on the back for doing exactly nothing until/unless everyone else is forced to be as charitable as you a) think they should be and b) have never personally been.