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Health Care: Taboo Thoughts

Two questions you're not allowed to ask about health care.

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Just when it looked like the health care debate had gone stale, a couple of contrarians submit some subversive ideas for our consideration.

What's so great about private insurance, anyway? Michael Hiltzig asks in the Los Angeles Times. He wants to know when the merits of the "private option" will be discussed. And he says surveys that suggest Americans who have private health insurance are satisfied with it are "misleading," because most people will never need more than a checkup:

"If your typical encounter is an annual checkup or treatment of the kids' sniffles, or even a serious but routine condition such as a heart attack, your experience is probably satisfactory. "

Hiltzig says private insurance fails the minority who do need critical care:

"Anyone whose condition is even slightly out of the ordinary knows the sinking feeling of entering health insurance hell -- pre-authorizations, denials, appeals, and days, weeks, even months wasted waiting for resolution."

What "right" to health care? John David Lewis says health care is not a human right:

"There was no right to such care before doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies produced it. Health care is a service, which we all need, and none of us are better served by placing our lives and our doctors under coercive bureaucratic control."

Lewis says health care costs keep rising, threatening to "invite a monumental financial crisis," because sound economic policy has been trumped by a false sense of morality:

"Again, even a cursory look at the evidence shows the cost problem beginning in the late 1960s, when the government began its massive increase in programs designed to make us all equal by legislative decree."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.