To the Editors:

Health care should remain a capitalist business.† No matter who pays for it, health care is a service.† You donít get something for nothing ó there are exceptions, but health care is not ó and should not be ó one of them.† The only exceptions are services that the Constitution instructs the government to provide and that individuals cannot provide for themselves: a postal system, maintenance of roads, national defense, etc.† Nowhere in the Constitution is there a right to free health care.† The fact that many struggle to pay their medical bills is concerning, but irrelevant to the idea that it is a right.† Many struggle to pay for their homes ó does everyone now have the right to a free house?

Health care costs so much because drugs and technologies are simply expensive to develop. As their complexity rises, costs inevitably rise as well.† Additionally, the health care system employs hundreds of thousands of professionals ó physicians, researchers, etc. ó all of whom have chosen to devote their lives to providing the service of health care, and all of whom receive a paycheck.† Is it not fair that these people are paid for their time and energy?† And if their position is in very high demand and takes years of study and dedication, why should they not be paid what the market is willing to pay them?† If less-than-market wages are offered for certain positions, there will not be enough people to fill them.† Doctor shortage, anyone?

As is so often pointed out, America is indeed the only industrialized country in the world with a private health care system. That is why in the past 20 years, more Nobel Prizes in physiology or medicine have been awarded to Americans than to all the other countries combined ó because the incentive to research and practice medicine is substantially higher in Americaís capitalist health care system than in Europeís socialist ones, and because the one that generates wealth (ours) has more money to spend on further research and development.† We must keep the health care system a capitalist business.

-Joseph McCarthy

Class of 2012

2 thoughts on “To the Editors:”

  1. clearly, this editorial is biased. anyone who has ever experienced any remote form of poverty, or even a day without privilege would clearly have evidence to counteract every single point.

  2. So people can be expected to diagnose their own medical conditions, but can’t be expected to set up a network of roads? If the argument is that government should help provide services that people couldn’t provide themselves, then health care should be included for the same reason free public education is; because it’s unfair to ask people to do either for themselves.

    The point of health care reform isn’t to give free health care to everyone, nor is it about taking money away from doctors and hospitals. As the system works now, a lot of money is being wasted, by the government and by hospitals. In many cases, having people go uninsured can be more expensive as they wind up having to go to emergency rooms for issues that might easily have been avoided if they had regular access to a doctor. Additionally, hospitals lose a lot of money providing “charity-care” to people without insurance.

    Providing government-sponsored alternatives to private health care doesn’t mean putting an end to capitalism in the realm of health-care. And if you’re thinking that it is unfair to expect private health care institutions to compete against government sponsored programs, I would urge you to consider that private colleges like the College of Wooster have remained successful even with the presense of large state-run schools.

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