It seems like just yesterday the Republicans failed miserably to deliver on the promise they’ve been making for nearly a decade to their constituents. Or, rather, a version of that promise given that they’ve repeatedly promised a full repeal of government mandated healthcare, not a “repeal and replace” deal.
As with many modern political issues, the deeper question behind the debate was never actually addressed, and was instead over looked in favor of the drama and reality T.V.-esque theatrics that we’ve come to expect whenever people “debate” pressing issues in our culture today. Why have civil debate when we can watch the C-Span version of WWE Smackdown, am I right?
The question behind the debate, to which I’m referring, is this one:
“What is healthcare, and what roles do individuals and service providers play in acquiring optimum health?”
A growing number of people in our culture are enamored with this idea of “human rights” and will basically take and ascribe the label “human right” to something they want, or can’t afford at the moment. College, housing, heathcare, the list goes on. Frankly, I’m personally waiting for the new iPhone 7 to become a human right, with all the bells and whistles because there’s no way I can afford $150.00 wireless earbuds, but I digress…
I don’t have a problem with people asserting their rights, what I do have a problem with is the mentality that our rights are granted to us by our government and acquired by using governmental force to attain said rights. This has been one of the single greatest drivers of government expansion (along with illegitimate military conflicts) since the reign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
There seems to be a belief that healthcare begins with a multitude of service providers, and I disagree with this premise. Healthcare begins with individual attitudes and behaviors. There are obviously exceptions to this rule, there are people with pre-existing conditions, or who develop rare afflictions through no volition of their own. However, if one looks at the leading causes of death in the United States today, they’d find that the majority of causes of fatalities (things like heart disease, influenza and pneumonia, suicide, diabetes, stroke, and others) are largely preventable or can have their risk vastly diminished by a change in individual behaviors.
Exercise and especially diet are key game changers to reducing risks of contracting fatal illnesses. In a country where a third of the adult population is considered clinically obese, there’s lots of room for improvement since obesity directly contributes to many of the prevalent causes of death in our country today. A shift in individual behaviors, along with the realization that health “insurance” should only be acquired for insurance-type risks (not everyday care) would reduce the massive costs of healthcare many find themselves burdened with today. Personal change, however, is very difficult, and that’s why we find many today who are enamored with the idea of using government force against private companies to dictate how and for how much they deliver their services to their consumers.
Many of my friends on the Left, despite continually identifying the corrupt collusion of corporations and government, are steadfastly of the belief that the government is a preferable vendor of health services than a free-market would be. I don’t understand this at all, since this same body is responsible for the mass killing/maiming of those in uniform globally as we fight to line corporate pockets with money in wars for oil, opioids and other things that benefit corporate interests. It’s the same body of people who didn’t provide adequate care for vets who came back from these wars with serious mental issues.
This is the same body of people who believe that it’s in the best interest of the country to have legislation that allows the indefinite detainment of citizens without a trial should they be suspected of terrorism, and the same body of people who don’t have a problem with torturing foreign adversaries who’ve been captured. It’s also the same body of people who continue to spend our nation into oblivion, destroying the value of our currency and saddling future generations who aren’t even born yet with astronomical debt, which is assigned to them at birth.
These are the people you want to put in charge, with the idea that they’ll somehow act in your best interest when it comes to assigning you adequate medical services?
That sort of faith in government is astounding, especially given the government’s track record of protecting corporate interests by crafting favorable legislation that diminishes legitimate competition, which would actually force companies to work for their consumers, not the politicians they buy off.
The answer isn’t “more regulation” because the corporatists in office and their big business partners don’t care about regulation, they just use their high priced lawyers to find a way around the legislation they craft. The answer isn’t putting the “right people” into office, the right people will come and go and the wrong people will likely return to positions of power down the road. The best answer is to shrink the government’s authority over every aspect of our culture and make companies, once again, beholden to their patrons. The answer is more freedom and less government structuring of the economy and various industries.
At the very core of the idea of freedom is one word: autonomy.
The freer you are the more autonomous you are. Freedom is when individuals invest in their own health and make decisions which don’t put them at the mercy of corporations. The same is true in finances, freedom is when a consumer makes smart, informed decisions and avoids debt traps created by companies whose bottom line matters more than people. Freedom is also the right to keep as much of what you earn as humanly possible, rather than having it confiscated by the government and funneled into social programs, which you largely have no say in.
I don’t want government “healthcare” because the government has failed in just about every measure of its existence to provide adequate services to people without sacrificing others in the process. I want the freedom to choose the services that best suit me, and the freedom to divest from companies that don’t provide adequate services to me, which includes ones subsidized by Washington politicians who craft legislation favorable to their golf club buddies.
At the end of the day humankind has a 100% mortality rate. Life won’t be perfect, and tragic things will happen, and I understand that, but freedom is a constant which should be striven for as it allows individuals the ability to chart their own course in life and to choose what best suits them.
At the end of the day freedom is the best health plan. Not government.
Postscript: I’ve been hearing great things from fellow libertarians about Liberty HeathShare which is an alternative to Obamacare and ideal for the self-employed. I’ll be interested to see if this proves to be a viable option for care in our current culture, but I’ve heard nothing but good things thus far!