This is the second post in a series of three on Health Care in America. Click here to view the first part.
Health Care – Is there a solution? Part 2 of 3
In a recent speech to the College Republicans at Vanderbilt, a student critiqued me for identifying problems America is facing but offering no solutions. Health Care matters deserve no less from us. Rather than discuss what is not working, what are some solutions to this quandary?
First, we need to review the assumptions: Health Care in America is not a right, it is a privilege. It stands with food, housing, and transportation as a commodity available in the private marketplace. Citizens may provide them and they may refuse them. They do not stand in the same category as life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The Constitution is designed to promote the “general welfare” of the public, not to provide it. The Founders lived in a world where people needed to eat, have a place to live, and need ways to get around. Yet, they saw no demand placed upon the Federal Government for these things. They proved this by their actions.
Second, much of health care consumption is personal-decision driven, unlike the need to eat regularly. Some citizens exercise restraint over drug and alcohol consumption, skateboarding with no protection, playing contact sports, driving too fast, diet, exercise, and other irresponsible behaviors and keep their health care usage to a minimum. Yet, contrary behaviors of all types, work-related injuries, et al cause many to demand more health services.
Third, the entitlement mentality in our country has prevented clear thinking about health provision. In a state where we actually have an entitlement program that provides cell phones and usage to the “poor”, our starting place is health care as a right, not a privilege. Outside of the previously mentioned “God-ordained” rights, no man owes any other man a product or service.
We are compelled to come to terms with the fact that we increase the cost and scope of anything by removing personal accountability from the equation. For example, if we conclude that parents are not responsible for demanding that their children go to school, behave while they are there, respect those in authority, pay attention in class, and complete their assignments on time, then public schools will continue to demand more and more money as a solution to their failing results. In short, when I turned over the responsibility of paying for a cell phone to my children, it was amazing how each one’s bill went from $100+ per month to less than $30 per month. It happened the same way all three times. When the citizens are required to pay for services, they generally find a way to pay for them, much like automobile liability insurance or license plates for an automobile. I rest my case.