Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Gummint-run health care is a disaster"

As if these sorts of folks needed any help looking ridiculous, try substituting "Fire Department" in for "Health Care" every time you see/hear some blathering screed against "universal health care". The result is that what they say should even make them look ridiculous by their own lights.

For instance: "If the government runs the [Fire Department], I hope you're prepared to see massive administrative bloat, huge bureaucracies, and ungodly amounts of paperwork. Moreover, all of the loafers and invalids will be capitalizing on the hard work of others. We can't just give away [Fire Protection Services] to everyone! Just ask yourself this, do you want BUREAUCRATS [putting out fires] or do you want a free-enterprise system?"

If this argument is correct, why not launch a huge campaign to privatize Fire Departments in order to have a free-market Fire Protection system? Why not introduce a system where individuals purchase their own fire-protection policy on a market where policies are sold by various for-profit companies? If your house catches on fire and you happen not to have the proper insurance policy against fires, well, too fucking bad. Burn baby burn. Sounds great, right?

(for even more absurd consequences of this argument, try and imagine a fully privatized police force, or better yet, a fully private market-based set of military institutions, who only protect those who have the money to purchase an 'anti-coercion insurance policy' on a market...)

These people's (those who huff and puff about 'socialized medicine') obsession with 'bureaucrats' is incredible. Don't they realize that (1) bureaucracies are an intractable feature of complex contemporary capitalists societies, which obviously includes institutions run by capitalists (tell me CIGNA isn't a huge bureaucracy!) and (2) there are already massive amounts of 'bureaucrats', or desk-top murderers if you like, who decide whether or not you get the care you need? They work for the current private, for-profit insurers and their positions would no longer exist under a single-payer system (i.e. you nix advertising and marketing, 'patient eligibility' claims officers, debt. collection agents, etc.). What's worse, these capitalist-driven bureaucrats ration the public's access to health care, only their metric for rationing isn't whether we can grant access to the largest possible number of people, but rather how best the company can maximize profits for its ownership.

Geez, can't these people be bothered to read some Weber? 'Bureaucrats' of some sort or other are involved in just about every major social institution that people rely upon on a daily basis, most of which are all private, for-profit enterprises.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

US anti-public healthcare often point to our (Britain's) National Health Service as an example of the bureaucracy that results from such a system - but the bureaucrats in the NHS developed when successive governments sought to make the NHS more like a free market system as a way to "cut costs". As far as I know, any savings made by reducing the quality... err, "inefficiency", of healthcare have been more than offset by the salaries of the bureaucrats. But, of course, "the market is always right", right?