Quote For The Day

"Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance - where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks - the case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong... Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken," - Friedrich Hayek, The Road To Serfdom (Chapter 9).

According to the current Republican orthodoxy, Friedrich Hayek was a socialist. David Ogles continues:

The reason intellectual conservatives oppose transfer payments like welfare is that they destroy incentives to work, and may encourage attitudes of entitlement which undermine the moral strength of the country. But universal health care does no such thing.

Being provided security against the risk of cancer doesn’t make us less likely to avoid getting cancer.  It doesn’t create incentives to be less healthy (more wasteful perhaps, but in the interest of health not pecuniary gain).  Catastrophic disease could befall any individual at any time, nearly any of whom could not possibly prepare for it with only his or her personal wealth.  Pooling the risk among everyone is of course the most efficient and humane solution, whether done through a public option, all through private insurers, or a competition between the two (this is why mandates are necessary).

There is a legitimate debate to be had about which of the three options above make the most sense for America.  All of them, however, jive with classically liberal principles, and none of them have much of a spillover effect on the free market system we’ve built for our society.  Unfortunately arguments to justify health care reform to conservatives are unfruitful because the Republican Party isn’t run by intellectuals, but reactionary politicos who murder language and truth to blindly oppose whatever the Democratic president supports.  In wartime, might I add!