Health Care is a Commodity

Tuesday, May 16, AD 2017

 

The usual suspects are outraged that the new Miss USA, Kara McCullough, thinks that health care is a privilege not a right.  Her father is a retired Marine and she holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina.  She works as an emergency preparedness specialist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  (No, that does not make her a nuclear scientist as some of the press hasreported.)

Health care of course is neither a right nor a privilege but a commodity.  Someone always has to pay for it.  To say that health care is a right is to say that person A has a right to compel other people to pay for A’s health care under all circumstances, and such a “right” has never existed and will never exist on this planet.  Government schemes for “free” healthcare always involve the rationing of health care and the denial of it under certain circumstances.  A privilege may be taken away and health care is almost never denied if it is paid for.  Kudos to Ms. McCullough, nonetheless, for actually thinking about her answer instead of rattling off the politically correct canned response.

Her answer about feminism was also a cut above the usual mindless platitudes expected of would be beauty queens:

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8 Responses to Health Care is a Commodity

  • “To say that health care is a right is to say that person A has a right to compel other people to pay for A’s health care under all circumstances, and such a “right” has never existed and will never exist on this planet. Government schemes for “free” healthcare always involve the rationing of health care and the denial of it under certain circumstances.”
    I’ve heard ‘rights’ explained thus, so that every right for someone entails a duty from someone else to provide it. I’m don’t agree. The 2nd amendment recognizes the right to have and bear arms. But it doesn’t detail a duty for someone (the government?) to provide them if an individual can’t afford them. It just says that an individual has a right to acquire them and the government can’t prevent him from acquiring them. I ‘ve been re-reading Adler’s “10 Philosophical Mistakes”, he says the same thing. Rights are any good thing that encourages human flourishing. But a ‘right’ doesn’t mean that someone else has a duty to provide that ‘right’, but that a person has a right to try to acquire. His success in acquisition will be dependent on fortunate circumstances.

  • “But a ‘right’ doesn’t mean that someone else has a duty to provide that ‘right’, but that a person has a right to try to acquire. His success in acquisition will be dependent on fortunate circumstances.”

    I understand what you are saying BPS but that is not how a “right to health care” is commonly understood.

  • Then we need to shift the common understanding of what a right is, Don. If we allow others to constantly play shell games with definitions then we will end up with rights that weak and flaccid if not altogether destroyed.

    BPS is correct. Health care is a human right, and it is not a civil right. The U.S. government is not violating my human rights under any current healthcare financing arrangement. If I lived in Venezuela (a place that claimed to uphold healthcare as a right) then my human rights would be violated, since the government there has impeded and destroyed nearly the entire healthcare marketplace with its socialist policies. Those who have blurred the definition of rights have loved Venezuela, up to now.

  • “She works as an emergency preparedness specialist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (No, that does not make her a nuclear scientist as some of the press hasreported.)”

    Correct. Thank you, Donald. E-Plan specialist was one of my former job hats at a nuclear utility. I was the radiation monitoring system engineer and the radilogical E-Plan specialist. That’s a very different role than Reactor Engineer or nuclear scientist.

    BTW, I am teaching reactor engineers / nuclear scientists all this week and next. Specifically, I am teaching the requirements that exist in ASME Standard NQA-1 for safety-related analytical and calculational software. Again, that’s not nuclear engineering or nuclear science. But my students need to know the requirements that the US NRC has endorsed so that they can develop their safety-related codes to do their nuclear engineering jobs.

    The public – and especially the liberal progressive feminist Democrat news media – is so abominably ignorant about all things nuclear. And all things science. And all things historical. And all thing religious. Stupid dumb idiot news journalists without an ounce of integrity or objectivity.

  • Sadly, the debate is rife with the anecdotes and emotions that are antithetical to resolving the actual health care crisis.

    It’s economics 101. Prior to the post-modern subversions, economics was the study of allocating limited commodities, resources, goods and services among relatively unlimited demands for said economic “goods. In the good old days, markets and prices were studied. Now, economists are in bed with demagogue politicians to replace with government diktat the market/price mechanisms for allocation of goods: here health care.

    There are many weaknesses with this approach – see Venezuela, the DMV, The VA.

    THE most glaring weakness is the near 100% failure rate for voodoo central planning. Milton Friedman said that if the government took over the Sahara Desert in five years there would be shortages of sand.

    If Trump can’t reverse the Obamacare death spiral, we are in big trouble.

  • The commodity of health care is not equally accessible to all. It is impossible for it to be equally accessible to all despite life circumstances including location, education, mobility etc etc. There would be a necessity of an overarching regulator and provider who could ameliorate those circumstances and make equitable organizational decisions and cut off points.

    Our Petrie culture of death is not likely a good place for growing top down general universal “health care”. The tendency would just be to the management of resources concerning health decisions- not particularly responsive to individual needs.
    The whole idea reeks.

  • Here are some economic facts:

    1) Healthcare is a commodity at only the basic public health level, such as with vaccines and other commonly needed items from the DME (durable medical equipment) and Pharma industries. As Anzlyne points out, response to individual needs in more complex cases exists and this works against commodification.

    2) Healthcare is not a free market. In a free market a seller does not have to sell and a buyer does not have to buy. Illness that is not trivial, that MUST be treated is what is called a diseconomy. One purpose of insurance is to reduce this diseconomy.

    3) Health insurance is better privatized, because a competitive market will result in about a 30% reduction of operating costs over a government insurer. Plus, operating costs don’t get buried in government deficits (yeah, some see that as a feature, it’s not).

    Could add a lot more…

  • One sailor with bubonic plague stepped off the boat in Marsailles, France, and two thirds of Europe died. There are cases in the United States of bubonic plague but they have been contained as has been eboli. New diseases are entering from the third world of which doctors cannot contend. Death, war, famine and PESTILENCE will always be with us. It may be prudent to help cure the neighbor and Thank God.