Thursday, July 23, 2009
A reader responded to my posting of Prof. Wertheim's comments on health care rationing. The reader seems skeptical (perhaps less skeptical than me) of the government's ability to ration health care in a better manner than the market. But, the reader raises what is to me a very intersesting point and one not heard much in the health care debates. As with government take over of other social services, government mandated health care may decrease the amount of charity given to those in need by generous strangers. In short, the human contact - one person opening themselves up to another in need - might be further lost and this possible cost ought to at least be discussed. And, "if there is rigid government health care rationing that cannot be gotten around (in the name of equality) then whether a person needs extraordinary procedures or not, and whether private insurance might have been willing to pay for it, or generous strangers are willing to pay for it or not, some needed treatments will just be out of bounds as not fitting the health care specs and budget for the year. In that sense, there is a way in which government rationing can itself be unjust; precisely because of government's power, getting around whatever unjust decisions it makes is harder than if the market makes an unjust decision."
What do you think?