Friday, December 18, 2009

The gap between philosophy and practice...

In a post that has stunned the blogsphere, one of the strongest and most articulate voices of libertarianism, Reason editor-in-chief Matt Welch makes the case why he prefers the shockingly socialistic health care in France for himself.

[Note: I really can't excerpt the whole thing, but please click the link to read the post - it's all good and no context is lost]
For a dozen years now I’ve led a dual life, spending more than 90 percent of my time and money in the U.S. while receiving 90 percent of my health care in my wife’s native France. On a personal level the comparison is no contest: I’ll take the French experience any day. ObamaCare opponents often warn that a new system will lead to long waiting times, mountains of paperwork, and less choice among doctors. Yet on all three of those counts the French system is significantly better, not worse, than what the U.S. has now. 
What’s more, none of these anecdotes scratches the surface of France’s chief advantage, and the main reason socialized medicine remains a perennial temptation in this country: In France, you are covered, period. It doesn’t depend on your job, it doesn’t depend on a health maintenance organization, and it doesn’t depend on whether you filled out the paperwork right. Those who (like me) oppose ObamaCare, need to understand (also like me, unfortunately) what it’s like to be serially rejected by insurance companies even though you’re perfectly healthy. It’s an enraging, anxiety-inducing, indelible experience, one that both softens the intellectual ground for increased government intervention and produces active resentment toward anyone who argues that the U.S. has “the best health care in the world.” [More]

Even when I disagree with Matt, I have admired both his integrity and clear reasoning. This piece could not have been easy to write, and roughly matches my thinking that our system works OK if you are "in the circle".

Once you fall out of our system, you are screwed.  Now guess which population is increasing.

We can do better, and I don't care what ideological label is attached to it, nor which example we choose to learn from: Canada, UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Holland - whatever.

We're fooling ourselves when we say we have the best system right now.

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