Amidst the difficult times in which we are living, there are moments that provide comedic relief. One of these is when leftists point out all the faults, failures, and foibles of America’s healthcare system and then conclude, “Capitalism has really failed us and so we need to turn to socialism.”
That’s rich! It would be difficult to find a better example of a life of delusion than that!
Oh, I’m not saying that leftists are wrong about all the problems with America’s healthcare system. They are absolutely right, and those problems are being exposed big time during the coronavirus crisis.
Soaring healthcare prices. Employer-based healthcare insurance. Bureaucratic red tape. Shortages of testing kits, masks, ventilators, hand sanitizer, and other essential items. Falsehoods and deceptions on the part of government officials. Doctors retiring early. Frustrated and angry healthcare providers, many of whom are becoming ill because they are be required to work without sufficient protection from infection. Mandates, orders, business shutdowns, and lockdowns issued my mini-dictators without legislative participation, enforced by threats of dictatorially issued arrests and fines.
There is a perfect term for America’s healthcare system, one coined by Ludwig von Mises: “planned chaos.”
Clearly a leftist would be thoroughly confused over my critique of America’s healthcare system. He would think, “Jacob is a libertarian. Aren’t libertarians supposed to favor capitalism? Then why is he criticizing America’s healthcare system? Why is he joining us leftists in opposing capitalism?”
The leftist mindset is what can be called the leftist life of healthcare delusion.
Let’s set forth the ideal healthcare system from a libertarian standpoint. When we do that, it will be easy to see how leftists go wrong with their diagnosis of and prescription for America’s healthcare woes.
In a genuinely free society — i.e. a libertarian society — there is a total separation of healthcare and the state, just as our ancestors separated church and state. No government involvement in healthcare at all. No Medicare. No Medicaid. No government regulations, controls, or mandates. No central planning. No Centers for Disease Control. No FDA. No DEA. No presidential task force on healthcare issues. No medical licensure.
That’s the type of healthcare system that we libertarians favor — a total free-market healthcare system. That is, a healthcare market that is totally free of government control, management, planning, interference, and regulation.
Is that the type of healthcare system under which we live?
Of course not. We live under a totally opposite type of healthcare system, one based on central planning, coercive redistribution of wealth, mandates, regulations, income-tax manipulations, controls, regulations, edicts, orders, lockdowns, shutdowns, licensure, and many other sorts of governmental interventions into healthcare.
What leftists don’t get is that that is precisely why we have “planned chaos” in healthcare. The problem is not with their description of the symptoms of the illness that afflicts the body politic. The problem is with their diagnosis of the illness itself. By misdiagnosing the illness as “capitalism” and “free market,” they end up prescribing more of the same poison to the body politic.
We libertarians have the correct diagnosis. The chaos we have in healthcare is not because of “capitalism” or the “free market” but rather because of government central planning and interference with healthcare. Therefore, the way to restore health to our healthcare system is to establish a genuine free-market healthcare system, one that is based on the complete separation of healthcare and the state. Nothing else will cure the body politic.