If only freedom didn’t keep getting in the way of health care “reform”

Victor Joecks

Las Vegas Sun news headline:

Why some American values are obstacles to insurance system overhaul
Reformers must overcome attachments to individualism, capitalism, experts say

Note, that’s the headline for a news story, not an editorial. Maybe this was one of those “sponsored” stories?

Now, the reporter usually isn’t responsible for the headline, but in this case, the headline does accurately reflect what the reporter wrote – freedom keeps getting in the way of the health care “reformers.” Here’s a taste:

Two fundamental American values – capitalism and individualism – present obstacles to significant change. American culture embraces commerce, consumption and profit and elevates the rights of the individual over obligations to the community. This makes it easy for some critics to heap disdain on changes that can be painted as limiting free enterprise, cutting into profits or leading to the real boogeyman – socialism.

So a belief in capitalism and individualism is an obstacle to change, but then Marshall Allen, the reporter, writes that critics are using a “boogeyman” when they point out that a government takeover of health care is socialism. Think about that.

The irony is the article then admits that the real goal of health insurance “reform” is socialism.

Health care reform advocates are urging a shift in perspective so that medicine moves from a private good, for the benefit of individuals, to a social good for the benefit of all. This raises fears of “rationing,” [Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis center for health policy director Eric] Wright said, but health care is already rationed – on the basis of a person’s ability to get health insurance…

An effective health care overhaul would require a trade-off in values, [Hastings Center research scholar Josephine Johnston] said, and sometimes it comes down to how values are emphasized. For example, Americans are individualistic, but they’re also incredibly generous, she said. “People have a sense they need to help the disadvantaged,” she said.

The entire article is hilarious. Just remember, your belief in capitalism and individualism (read: freedom) is hindering real health care “reform,” but don’t you dare describe the government takeover of health care as socialism, you scare monger.

I need a palate cleanser. Enjoy this long and glorious clip of Milton Friedman defending capitalism and freedom against those who measure the success by intentions, not results. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, jump ahead to 10:50 for a direct refutation of the idea of doing good with other people’s money.