Friday, September 11, 2009

Political Magic

It should come as little surprise that those without health insurance are in favor of forcing others to pay for their medical care. But that alone isn't sufficient. They want to be treated just like the individuals who are paying the bill. A Chronicle reporter interviewed a number of people at Ben Taub--which provides free health care to those without insurance--on health care reform. The story starts on a promising note:

Those waiting to be seen or accompanying a relative in need of care knew nothing of the particulars of Obama's plan or the criticism of it. All readily admitted the current public option — waiting for hours to be called to the triage room — is better than nothing. But the promise of universal insurance coverage, a cornerstone of health care reform, is one they all would take to heart.

Many of those interviewed are unemployed, so I think that it is reasonable to assume that they have some time on their hands. Yet, they know nothing of the current health care debate. Why then, is their opinion of interest to anyone? Why would the Chronicle send one of its reporters to get the opinion of those who don't know what they are talking about? Because an informed opinion doesn't matter when there are unmet needs sitting around the waiting room.

Anastasia Bennett, who has apparently abandoned any responsibility for her own life, told the reporter:
I don't think it's right that some people can get insurance and I can't get it. If positions were reversed, vice versa, they would want to be seen by a doctor. They are no better than we are.

Ms. Bennett doesn't think it's right that some people have something she doesn't have, and therefore, it is perfectly proper to take their money to fulfill Ms. Bennett's desires. Like an insatiable parasite, she believes that sucking the life out of productive citizens and doctors is right. For added measure, she plays the guilt card--productive citizens are no better than leeches feeding at the public trough.

I suppose that Ms. Bennett would also think that its not right that some people can get a BMW, or a cruise, or a home in River Oaks, or countless other things that she can't get. The fact that these individuals work and earn their money is irrelevant. The fact that these individuals are responsible for their own lives doesn't mean a thing. She has a need, and it is the responsibility of others to fulfill it.

Certainly, some people suffer misfortune through no fault of their own. Such situations are tragic, and I do not mean to diminish the impact on the lives of those involved. But one person's tragedy, no matter how dire, does not provide him with a claim on the lives and property of others. One person's need does not give him a right to steal from others, and this doesn't change merely because government acts as his proxy.

In a free society, those in need must rely on the good will and charity of others. And in a free society there is seldom a shortage of such good will. However, receiving charity, we are often told, is demeaning to the recipients. Acting as a moocher isn't. An act of good will and benevolence is degrading, but theft isn't. This is the type of "logic" employed to justify legalized plunder.

Ms. Bennett and her ilk do not realize that they are chewing off the hand that feeds them. They don't concern themselves with tomorrow, because they count on another hand to magically appear. And unfortunately, there is an abundance of politicians who think that they are magicians.

The Objective Standard has made several articles on this crucial issue available for free:

"How the Freedom to Contract Protects Insurability"
"Mandatory Health Insurance: Wrong for Massachusetts, Wrong for America"
"Moral Health Care vs. 'Universal Health Care'"

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