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Reality Is Not Optional

The web-only edition of today’s New York Times published this letter of mine on health care.

Who cares what modern health care-delivery methods are called? The elemental problem is that more and more people feel entitled to vast quantities of high-quality health care paid for by someone else.

And politicians, ever lusting for office, are only too happy to conjure the ridiculous illusion that A will get top-flight service from B when C is forced by G to pay the bills.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Fairfax, Va., Sept. 28, 2007
The writer is chairman of the economics department, George Mason University.

The author of the letter published along with mine is like so many others: he forgets that — to steal Thomas Sowell’s phrase — reality is not optional.  Calling health care “a necessity” does nothing to make it universally available in quantities and qualities sufficient to satisfy all demands that would be expressed for it by individuals each of whom is not required personally to pay for the care he or she receives (or seeks to receive).