Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Harvard Professor Details The Truth About Government Healthcare (But then Insults the American People)

Harvard's Jeff Miron does a fair job detailing some of the current problems with government involvement in healthcare, in the video below. However, he misses a couple of elephants in the room.

He fails to emphasise how the demand created by the current system will result in rationing of healthcare based on bureaucratic decisions, how this will ultimately result in less creativity in the healthcare sector and ultimately declining life expectancy in the United States.

Further, at the end of this clip, he fails to recognize that the very poor can be provided  healthcare through private charity. He states that the very poor should be taken care of by government. Here, Miron falls into the trap laid by bureaucrats, who imply that the very poor wouldn't be taken care of if people weren't corced into taking care of the poor, through taxation.

Charity really doesn't need to be run through the politicians and bureaucrats in D.C., yet the politicians and bureaucrats in D.C. have managed to promote the idea that the only way the poor will be provided care is through them. It such a pervasive con on the public that even a Harvard professor who appears to want to understand the importance of freedom, fails to get it when it comes to a major issue like charity, where even the concept, charity: free or compulsory, is rarely brought up or debated. Does Professor Miron really think that the American people are so uncharitable that the very poor would simply be left to die, without government forced charity? It's really insulting to the American people, to hold such a view.

(Via Greg Mankiw)


  1. Happy Birthday RomneyCare !
    5 years old today.
    To celebrate Tufts Medical Center nurses who make over 100K a year will schedule a strike vote Thursday over "staffing issues".

  2. Also, in a truly free market, health-care prices would gradually decrease, making health care affordable even to the poor, just as increased productivity has made various products previously affordable only by the very rich available to even the poorest people. Though statists would admit that increased productivity has made a plethora of products available to the poor, they incorrectly argue that health care doesn't operate in the same way. Then, to support their argument against free-market health care, they cite a number of problems, all of which are caused by government intervention.

  3. An alternative:


  4. Miron asserted that government-provided healthcare, e.g. Medicaid, for "the very, very poor" is the only intervention for which there is a reasonable justification. Unfortunately, he neglects to give a good reason to believe him.

    Can we not, however, make a reasonable assumption about what he means by "reasonable justification"? What he means is something like this:

    "Yes, the very, very poor should have their health care provided for, but I should not be the one who has to pay for it, or at least not for most of it, anyway. Instead, the government should coerce my neighbors and complete strangers to pay for it. This recommendation helps me to posture as a caring person without actually having to put my own money and my own labor where my mouth is.

    Of course, if a lot of people care about the poor, then there'll be plenty of voluntary charity to pay for health care for the poor. But if there is not enough voluntary charity, then my recommendation for intervention, if followed by the government, spares me a huge expense, relative to my own modest income, that I'd prefer to lay on the shoulders of others. (And oh, by the way, my recommendation should keep me relatively safe from the spiteful, malevolent leftists who live in my area.)"

    And that's what Professor Miron really means by "reasonable justification".

  5. Forced charity by the government is NOT charity. It is stealing.

    1. The voluntary giving of help, typically money, to those in need.

    Notice the word "voluntary". Charity is a personal matter - the government has no business getting involved in it.

  6. Has he heard of friendlies? Even if charity and private care would not suffice, there's alternative means of financing healthcare. What a topsy turvy world we must live in where people are so lacking in knowledge and creativity that they think the government must provide for the poor lest they starve or die etc.

  7. FACT: The USA is bankrupt.
    FACT: The number of people who will need extremely expensive healthcare will explode for the next 30 years or so.
    FACT: The nation cannot pay for the level of healthcare that people currently on medicare/caid receive.
    FACT: Rationing of healthcare will be forced upon us by basic math - there is not other way around the problem.
    FACT: Life expectancy will go down as healthcare is rationed - we will not be able to afford to give each doctor a new Mercedes for each life "saving" procedure they do on 80 year olds, like they do today.
    FACT: People were meant to die at around age 50, some a few years more, some a few years less, depending on what genes you inherited.
    FACT: Private charity does little for the health care of the poor today and there will be no change in the future. I give $1 to the bums at the freeway on-ramp - that is about all they can hope for.
    FACT: It is immoral to not freely provide suicide kits, with nitrogen bottle so that those who are ready to go, can kill themselves painlessly. We are supposed to be free people who are in control of our lives, but no, as long as a doctor can get a Mercedes for giving you a bypass at age 80, people will NEVER be free to take their health care into their own hands. So, what do they do? They blow their brains out with guns or run head-on into 18 wheelers or jump off cliffs, etc, etc, etc. (Look up "suicide bag" on wikipedia.org)