“I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People.” That’s the title of a recent Huffington Post article that self-righteously (and ignorantly) boils the healthcare debate in America down to one simple element: compassion. According to the author, if you are for government-sponsored healthcare, you are compassionate And if you are against it, you’re a selfish person who hates your neighbor.
The “more compassionate than thou platform” of the Left is an irritating and economically illiterate set of ideals that leftists have mounted for practically every issue in my lifetime, and when applied to the healthcare debate it’s just flat out wrong. It’s time they give up this straw man debate tactic and acknowledge the actual, legitimate reasons someone may oppose government-sponsored healthcare (hint: because it hurts people).
Though liberals claim to be the group that values science, their disregard for one of the most essential of sciences—economics—is frightening. Worse yet, their willful ignorance towards the results of their own policies is alarming. You cannot call yourself compassionate while continuing to push policies that hurt people. Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it, ignorance of economics is no excuse for pushing harmful policies on the American people.
The foundation of economics rests in simple supply and demand. In a free market, there is a limited amount of supplies someone is willing to sell for a certain price. There is also a limited number of buyers who are willing to purchase said supplies for a given amount. If the price becomes too high, those buyers exit the market. If there are no buyers at a certain price point, then the seller must lower their price or close up shop.
Unfortunately for Americans, our free market in the healthcare field was hijacked some time ago. The federal government became heavily entrenched in the healthcare market in 1965 with the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. With these programs, the government subsidized services, inflated demand, and restricted supply, thereby limiting access to doctors, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and insurance. These policies caused the price of healthcare to skyrocket.
Despite government interference leading to tremendous price inflation the first go round, the left essentially doubled down on its failed idea and expanded its role in our healthcare system under Obamacare. The results have been devastating. Millions lost their plan and/or their provider. The average American family pays about 35% of their income on healthcare, the cost of services continues to rise, health insurance premiums and deductibles are astronomical, and the wait time to see a doctor grows every year. We’ve driven a massive wedge between Americans and access to quality healthcare. How is that compassion?
It’s time the left concedes the moral argument in the healthcare debate. More government involvement isn’t the solution. Instead we need to reduce regulations that limit competition, innovation, and entry. Taking time to understand economics and the market is the truly compassionate move here.