Unmoved by the mass suffering and death caused by socialism throughout the last century, states such as Wisconsin continue to enact socialist programs, shrouding them in the now-invisible garbs of “compassion” for the poor. The unarguable fact that the consequent rationing of goods and soaring costs cause a decline in the standard of living—especially in that of the poor—matters not to the politicians and bureaucrats involved.
Proponents use the familiar argument for national health care that this will save money (about $1.8 billion a year) through efficiency gains by eliminating the administrative costs of private insurance. And unions and some big businesses with rich union health plans are only too happy to dump these liabilities onto the government.
But those costs won't vanish; they'll merely shift to all taxpayers and businesses. Small employers that can't afford to provide insurance would see their employment costs rise by thousands of dollars per worker, while those that now provide a basic health insurance plan would have to pay $400 to $500 a year more per employee.
The plan is also openly hostile to market incentives that contain costs. Private companies are making modest progress in sweating out health-care inflation by making patients more cost-conscious through increased copayments, health savings accounts, and incentives for wellness. The Wisconsin program moves in the opposite direction: It reduces out-of-pocket copayments, bars money-saving HSA plans, and increases the number of mandated medical services covered under the plan.
So where will savings come from? Where they always do in any government plan: Rationing via price controls and, as costs rise, waiting periods and coverage restrictions. This is Michael Moore's medical dream state.
Although this editorial points out the impracticality of so-called “universal healthcare”—a euphemism for socialized medicine—it fails to make any moral argument against the program. The crucial moral fact here is that socialized medicine is anti-life; it is an assault on the very source of life: man’s mind.
Man’s mind—his basic means of producing the values on which his life depends—can guide man in producing values only to the extent that he is free to act on his judgment. The reason why socialized medicine fails to improve healthcare is that it is in direct opposition to the very source of healthcare: the freedom of healthcare providers, doctors, patients, and insurers to act on their judgment. This is the point that needs to be hammered home time and again.
Of course, making this point to today’s socialists will have no effect on them; they are not concerned with man’s mind or human life or moral facts; their feelings tell them what’s “right.” But this is the point that must be grasped by thinking people if the socialists’ programs are to be soundly defeated.