Friday, July 24, 2009

Nationalized Health Care Redistributes Wealth


If you support national health care, there is one essential aspect of the program that you must understand. National health care is in essence a redistribution of wealth. Be it wealthy individuals who will take more of a tax hit to pay for the program, or young people who will be required to get health care when they do not want it. It is not possible to make one person better off without making someone worse off. If this health care plan does in fact make many individuals better off, there is someone who is paying the price.

John Fund of The Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed for today’s paper, and it seems as though he has a general grasp of this principle. Some, namely young people and small businesses among others, will pick up the tab. It is important to understand the redistributive essence of this bill. President Obama and the Democrats plan could open up a public option and implement universal health care, but at a serious cost. The way I look at it, there are certain preconditions you must believe in order to support this sort of a program:

1) Health Care is a right, and every American should be able to get health care regardless of any outside factors.

2) Those who cannot afford health care are entitled to others funding of their health care. This funding should be forced through government seizure.


I have a serious problem with both of these pre-conditions. First, health care is a responsibility. I do believe in severe circumstances it turns into a right when someone’s life is threatened. This is already worked into the system, a right to life, through the ability to enter an emergency room and receive treatment regardless. Essentially I view health care as a good, not a right. It is a service that is provided through a number of actors including but not limited to doctors, nurses, drug companies, and suppliers of hospital beds and equipment.

How can I as an individual have a right to all this labor and capital investment? I do not, and I should have to pay for these goods and services as anything else. What is worse, I surely do not think that I or anyone else should have our goods seized (notably our cash which we received through productive activities) by the government and redistributed to others who are “entitled” to them. I have no problem subsidizing emergency room visits, but I do have a problem with funding someone’s year-to-year health expenses. How can someone else have a claim to my goods? How can I have a claim to your goods? The government is simply a compilation of individuals, and I believe if I do not have a right to seize your goods in society that government is not above that human standard.

Now if you do believe that health care is ultimately a right and a right that can be met through forced seizure of other’s property then you are beyond the scope of this discussion, and the next thing is to attack me and others for being “cold” and lacking compassion. I believe that some may attack Christians such as myself (okay I don’t believe, I know because I have heard someone call Christian’s “hypocrites” who do not support the health care bill) for taking a stance against universal health care. There is a problem with this attack though. Where in the bible did Jesus advocate using government to redistribute property? Last time I checked he was very anti-government, and ultimately said it is up to us to care for our fellow man. If we weren’t so overburdened with taxes and debt due to the government’s intervention into pretty much every aspect of daily life, maybe, just maybe there would be more money for individuals (voluntarily) to donate to charities on top of cheaper health care? Just a thought.

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