Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Health Care Is a Right, Not a Business

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   18 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 8/31/16

Author 77715
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Campaign For America's Future

(Image by Council Of Churches)   Permission   Details   DMCA

Financial columnist Megan McArdle recently wrote a column entitled "Healthcare Is a Business, Not a Right." She was responding to a tweet from financial writer Helaine Olen:

- Advertisement -

Image by Twitter)   Permission   Details   DMCA
Helaine Olen"@helaineolen

- Advertisement -

25. The health of Americans should not be a profit center. Health care is a right. Full stop.

9:06 PM - 16 Aug 2016

Health care is a business, says McArdle, but most of us aren't tough-minded enough to admit it. Even if you ask a conservative, she writes, "there is a good chance you'll get a rant about greedy insurers nickel-and-diming hardworking consumers when they're sick."

"Almost everybody feels that there is something fundamentally wrong about making money off someone else's illness," McArdle laments.

It's a straw-man argument. Nobody I know thinks there's something "fundamentally wrong" with doctors or nurses earning a living, or pharmacies turning a profit. Doctors, nurses and corner pharmacists are iconic figures in American folklore.

- Advertisement -

McArdle misrepresents her adversary. Olen's tweet begins with the number "25," which McArdle omits, meaning it's the 25th in a series of tweets. The full series makes it clear that Olen is talking specifically about health insurance. Olen's "full stop," which McArdle mocks, seems intended to signal the end of her twitter essay.

But then, you can't make a straw man without breaking some straws.

"No, don't sputter and tell me that it's obvious, that people need health care," McArdle writes. "People need a lot of things. You'll die without food long before you'll die without healthcare, and yet few people say we need to 'take the profit motive out of farming.'"

Nobody's sputtering, but the farming analogy is poorly chosen. Food production and health care delivery occur in very different economies. The need for food is consistent, stable, and predictable. The need for health care varies dramatically over time. Insurance, whether public and private, spreads risk among larger groups and levels out its potentially devastating cost spikes.

But, while farmers provide food, insurers don't provide health care. They're intermediaries. When they're profit-driven, their economic incentives can become socially destructive. Other for-profit health intermediaries include pharmaceutical companies and third-party investers like Bain Capital, who invest in medical providers and then press them to maximize profits. (See "Sick Money.")

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz