Friday, January 20, 2012

American Beggars and Health Care

I again had someone tell me that health care is better provided by charity than by government regulation. Invariably the people who tell me this are Americans. I still remember meeting a British Libertarian who strongly defended the NHS (British National Health Care) because, as he explained it, "health care is a human right".

So what's the difference between government mandated health care and charity? When I got medical treatment in the UK (and when I get it here in France), I could rest assured that I paid for that treatment with my tax dollars. The individual in question wrote (the conversation is public, but I'm not going to link it because I don't want to embarrass the guy):
I had no coverage for many years, and still always got treatment from non-profit entities. Charity handles these issues better than govt.
Got that? I pay for my medical care. This guy's a beggar.

This guy had the gall to tell me that his way is better. I keep hearing people telling me that begging is better than paying for health care if the government is somehow involved. So how to they explain the fact that France has the best health care in the world? Every other major industrialized nation on the planet has some form of universal health care they provide better care at a lower cost than the US. It's only US ignorance which prevents Americans from helping themselves.

So maybe this guy is happy to be a beggar. That's his right, but don't tell me that I should rely on begging for medical care. And when a poor child is lying in a hospital ward dying of cancer, are you really telling me his mother should be out there begging for money to pay the medical bills or should that mother be there for her child? How do you get to the point where you have this kind of sick, twisted society which thinks that begging is better than government stepping in to correct a market failure?


  1. He IS socialising the cost of healthcare! ARGH!!! Now I have to pay for it in higher premiums.

    This lack-of-big-picture view is our problem.

  2. This guy obviously doesn't understand how it works here. Maybe if you are homeless and jobless you can get health care. However if you are like me and consistently underemployed and without children, trying to get anyone to do anything for you is impossible. I don't make enough to pay for insurance, but make too much for government or charitable help. There is a huge gap where many Americans tend to fall when it comes to health coverage. I agree that here the government tends to feel the need to over regulate. I would prefer to have something with government fingerprints all over it than nothing at all. I have often envied European countries their healthcare system.