Sunday, May 20, 2012

Compassion And Health Care As A Right

Compassion can't be given by requiring someone else to pay for the act. There is no compassion in mandating that other people pay for health care. Otherwise, just give me your wallet and I'd be the most compassionate being ever alive. I'd ask everyone what they want and give them triple what they answer. Of course you'd probably have to get another job, but what do I care about how much you work when I'm so compassionate? In fact, my compassion demands you work 20 hours a day, no less. There is just so much good I want to do, so many people to help. I hope you get my point. True compassion comes from you giving your own money or volunteering your own time and labor to help people in need. It can't come from forcing others to. Compassion has nothing to do with national health care or any other social program. Unfortunately, what people want, need, or deserve is constrained by reality. There can be no right that depends on someone else's labor, money, or work to provide it. Therefore food, clothing, shelter, water and health care can't be rights. Why? What if everyone demands these "rights", who is going to work to provide them? If someone can go up to a farmer and demand his crops because he is hungry and has a right to food, what happens when the farmer decides to stop working the farm, since all of his produce is being taken away, and demand HIS right to food? Who will provide that food? Reality has veto power over any proposed right. If you want to reduce health care costs, health care must be limited and rationed. Right now, the value equation is missing from health care decisions. What do I mean by value? Is it worth $100,000 to give a treatment that, on average, extends life by 6 months? If you are that person, AND someone else is going to pay for it, then the answer is going to be yes. So we have to ask this difficult question in a more neutral way. Today, this question isn't asked. Doctors do not deny care based on "value". Doctors are trained only to diagnose and treat, regardless of cost. To limit costs, someone has to decide if the costs of the treatment are worth the benefits and deny care if they aren't. I won't pretend I know the answer to the "value" question, but this is the root of our problems with the health care system.

No comments: