Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Free Market Is Not Another Form of Rationing

This article challenges the liberal claim that the free market is just another form of rationing and is therefore the same as government rationing.

Here is a key quote:

Whenever government attempts to guarantee an alleged "right" to health care, it must also control it. Bureaucrats and politicians must ultimately decide who gets what health care and when, not doctors and patients -- if only to control costs. This is true rationing, and it necessarily violates the actual rights of the practitioners forced to provide care on the government's terms (rather than their own) and the taxpayers forced to pay for it.

The free market is therefore the antithesis of rationing. It respects individual rights, whereas rationing unjustly violates individual rights -- a crucial moral distinction.

If liberals are genuinely concerned about making health care more affordable, they should support free market reforms. Although the current American system is not a free market (but rather a mixed system), it is the least-regulated sectors of medicine (such as LASIK eye surgery) that follow the typical free-market pattern of falling prices and rising quality that we take for granted with computers and cell phones. This can and should be the norm in all of health care.

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