Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Socialised health - what it really means.

The Liberty Papers has a post up about presidential hopeful John Edward's proposal to force people to have regular checkups and visit doctors. This would include forcing people to get dental and optical checkups, and women to go and have mammograms. I suppose that refusing to get a checkup means you would not be covered by the public health system.

Now my response to this is fairly obvious. I find it repulsive to force people to do anything. Its just another extension of the nanny state that controls, nurses and cares for you from the cradle to the grave. To be more precise, it tells you what you can do, what you cannot do, and does not allow you to nurse and care for yourself and your families.

Not only is the nanny state going to provide health cover, but because "the system" has to pay for your medical expenses, "the system" wants to make sure you look after yourself and have checkups, don't smoke or eat fatty foods, avoid drugs and harmful substances and force you to have regular checkups.

REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. If you opt into a public universal health system, then the government empowers itself to manage you, and your health, and your diet and your actions, because it has an interest in tackling"public health issues" - obesity, smoking etc.

Whereas if you accept personal responsibility for your own health, and manage your own health cover, you make decisions based on the fact that you are the only person who faces the consequences of your decisions, and not the taxpayer. It is nobody else's business to tell you when to have a checkup, or what level of health cover you need, or how much exercise you should do, or whether you can eat fast food, or enjoy a cigarette every now and then.

The Liberty Papers has a very useful summary relating to this:

If you accept the logic of government provided universal health care coverage, then Edwards’ proposal actually makes sense. After all, if the taxpayers are paying for your health care, we can’t let you do anything unhealthy now can we ?
We’ll ban smoking in practically every public venue, take trans-fats off the market, require food makers to slap labels on their product that are more confusing than anything else and, then, we’ll tell you that you don’t have the right to decide to seek medical care or not.