- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009



Many reasons exist for opposing so-called universal health care. First on the list are the basic economic principles of resource availability and resource allocation. When some additional 40 million people are given (or forced to accept) access to health coverage, demand for services will vastly exceed the supply of medical practitioners. In cases where demand exceeds supply, rationing must be employed to allocate the amount of demand to the limited amount of supply.

Ordinarily, in a free market, rationing is employed based on a priority system. If a service is deemed a high enough priority, an individual will expend the resources to obtain the service. This is often manifested in simple terms: “Can I afford this?” Under a national health care plan, free-market principles are cast aside in favor of cozy but fuzzy notions of what some consider social justice.

The manifestation of social justice in this case will be a bureaucratic process. As an example, it is easy to foresee that the elderly will not be deemed worthy of expensive treatments even if they have the resources to afford the treatment. At best, they will be placed at the back of the line behind other beneficiaries of the health care plan, such as those considered to be more productive or the young who have more to live for.

This is all regardless of whether or not the elderly person has worked hard and made sacrifices throughout his life. Thus, one may ask: What incentive do I have to work hard and make sacrifices? If one does all this throughout his life and then has to forgo medical treatment for someone else who hasn’t, how is that social justice?

How is this bureaucratic process any less cold and impersonal or, for that matter, any more socially just than a free market?



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