San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Problem With A Single-Payer System

Neo-conservative Charles Krauthammer wrote an editorial on March 31st entitled, "The road to a single-payer health care system."  Although I deplore the idea of a health care "system," (there is no such thing as a "system" in anything, everything is merely the combination of thousands of individual decisions by thousands of individual actors) I was shocked to discover that he would advocate socialism in the health care industry.  Two different people wrote separate letters to the editor of the Denver Post in the last two days also in support of Krauthammer's idea.  One wanted a federal single-payer system, like the current Medicare program, and the other wanted a state administered system, like the one voted down by Colorado voters last November.  Let's consider this phenomenon for a moment today.
All supporters of government sponsored health care have two things in common.  First, they do not believe the free market is capable of delivering health care services to the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika and second, they all have religious devotion for the doctrines of socialism.  As the SDA has become increasingly dominated by socialists it is only natural and to be expected that a socialist medical program will eventually be imposed upon us all.   These air-heads really believe in the doctrines of socialism and, as such, they believe that a socialist system of health care will actually be better.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, one letter writer asserted that, "the savings with Medicare for all will be 50 percent, if the experiences of other countries are our guide."  He then fails to give any of the details about the alleged experiences in other countries in which medical care costs dropped by 50% once the government socialized them.  We do have the experience with Medicare in our own country and by all measures it is a disaster.  It is rife with fraud and mismanagement.  It results in ridiculously overpriced medical services being billed to the program and it drives up the cost of medical care for all citizens. According to Wikipedia, "Over the long-term, Medicare faces significant financial challenges because of rising overall health care costs, increasing enrollment as the population ages, and a decreasing ratio of workers to enrollees. Total Medicare spending is projected to increase from $523 billion in 2010 to around $900 billion by 2020. From 2010 to 2030, Medicare enrollment is projected to increase from 47 million to 79 million, and the ratio of workers to enrollees is expected to decrease from 3.7 to 2.4." Medicare is funded by a payroll tax of 2.9% on all income earned by all workers in the SDA.  Just think about that for a moment.  Almost 3% of all income earned in this immoral country goes directly into this program of socialized medicine.  In exchange for that we get very little.
The letter writer in favor of state sponsored socialized medicine made the same old argument about civil rights in regards to health care.  According to him, "all Coloradoans deserve reasonably priced, consistent available health care."   The philosophical basis for his belief that health care is a civil right was not explained.  He also failed to define what he meant by "reasonably priced."  He also failed to explain how much money was going to be taken from the citizens of Colorado in order to fund this state sponsored program.  Unlike Medicare, which is funded by a 2.9% payroll tax, Colorado care would have been funded by a whopping 10% payroll tax.  Can you imagine spending 10% of everything you earn on a state administered socialist health care program?  Neither can I.  Fortunately the people who vote in Colorado agreed with me and the program was soundly defeated. 
Without getting into the arguments as to why all government administered programs are bound to cost more than the free market can provide and without discussing the futility of expecting a government bureau to do something more efficiently than a profit seeking corporation, there still remains one insurmountable problem for all advocates of socialized medicine.  What is that problem?  All socialist programs of any sort are funded with money that is stolen from someone (always the "rich") and given to the members and beneficiaries of the program.  In other words, all single-payer medical programs would be funded with stolen funds.  In the judicial world a person who receives stolen goods from the free market is called a "fence" and is guilty of committing a felony.  In the SDA the recipient of stolen goods is called a bureaucrat or a patient.  Please explain to me how a program can be moral when it is funded with stolen funds?  Just once I would like for someone to answer this question for me.  Just once I would like a socialist to defend himself against this charge. 
I know the standard defenses for socialistic programs.  I am told that "we," as a "civilized society" have agreed to allow some of our money to be taken from us and given to the needy "poor," whoever they are.  But that argument is simply not true.  I have known thousands of people throughout my life and only a handful of them were happy about how much they paid in taxes to fund social welfare programs.  Almost to a person they all believed that they should be able to keep their money and not have it forcibly extracted from them and given to someone else.  So the argument that we have created some sort of social contract in which we agree to steal from the rich and give to the poor is simply not true.
If I take your money at gun-point I am a thief and you are rightfully angry with me when I rob you.  If I live in a geo-political zone and vote with the majority to take money from you and use it to pay my doctor bills I am a good citizen in a single-payer system.  How can this be?  How can it ever be moral to do something as a citizen in a democracy that is immoral to do as an individual?  How can it ever be right to take money from you by majority vote when it is theft to do it privately by force?  Please, someone, answer these questions!  Provide a moral and philosophical answer to the question as to why taking money from one person and giving it to another by force is wrong when done individually and right when done by the state.  To my knowledge no one in the history of the world has ever done this.  Will you be the first?

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