QandO shows us what being a libertarian is all about:
Let's talk about health care for a minute. Health care is certainly a need, but it is not a right. And all the high sounding rhetoric in the world that says otherwise is baloney.
And just like that, the right to health care is disproven. Except, in Western Europe, health care actually is a right, no matter what QandO says. It's a right because the citizens and government have decided it's a right, easy as that. Whether McQ and his libertarian brethren are so callous as to keep a straight face while denying the transcendental importance of health care is their own issue, but this flip dismissal of "high sounding rhetoric", which is to say, compassionate speech, is simply, obviously, wholly, wrong.
From there, McQ argues for taking health care away from employers and out of the government's purview:
The immediate benefits of making health insurance an individual responsibility?
1. Portability. It now no longer matters where you work or for how long (or if you work at all) your insurance travels with you. And that means ...
2. No more preexisting conditions.
3. Pool cost averaging. No longer limited to the pool of those who work at your business, like car insurance it now is extended to the pool of those insured by your insurance company.
Funny, those are exactly the same arguments that, in saner contexts, are leveraged in favor of government-run health care. Funnier yet, they actually work better when run through the state. The exciting pool cost averaging of McQ's plan simply enters you into the pool cherry-picked by your insurance company (for more on how well that works, read this post), government-run health care puts you in a national pool that doesn't allow cherry-picking. Insurance companies have a list of preexisting conditions long as your arm, government provided health care has none. As for portability, well, you know what I'm going to say.
The right's wrong on this one and, while I don't say this often, the libertarian-right is even wronger. Pulling the plug on government involvement would be a mess. This time, it's the private sector that flouts efficiency and kowtows to perverse and immoral incentives, and the state that's been proven, again and again, to provide better health outcomes for less money. And any high sounding rhetoric lauding the vaunted private sector's ability to deliver health care is, if you'll excuse my libertarian, baloney.
Update: Whoops! McQ feels wronged by my post! Apparently, since he wrote "rights don't involve, involuntarily, the assets of others", I was mistaken in saying he'd blithely dispensed with the idea that health care is a right, and the reality that it's a right in Europe. Or something. You guys can decide. His response then devolves into a series of non-sequiturs about how our economy can't sustain a "right to health care". Of course, we spend almost double -- per capita -- what other countries spend to cover their entire populations, but hey, I wouldn't want to interrupt that pleasant libertarian perspective with facts. He also accuses me of believing there's no program that couldn't be done better by the government. SIlly stuff, but then coming from a guy who think the world's richest country can't afford to provide health insurance for its population, it's par for the course.
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(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)