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Some “No”s and “Yes”es of Health-Care

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Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Objecting to efforts by ‘the party of No’ to repeal Obamacare, you ask “What Comes After No? [2]” (Jan. 25).

I have no idea how GOP politicians will answer your question.  But I have a good idea of how they should answer it.  They should say to the American people, “Yes, each of you is responsible for your own health-care.  Yes, each of you has different circumstances, preferences, and tolerances for risk that are inevitably ignored by government intrusion into health-care markets.

“Yes, we understand that each of you would like to get all of your health-care for free, but reality won’t cooperate; someone must pay for it.  So, yes, we understand that a policy of forcing A to pay for B’s health care and forcing B to pay for A’s – while it might fool A and B into thinking that their health-care is free – only encourages both A and B to overspend on health-care.  Yes, one result is unnecessarily high health-care costs.

“Yes, we understand that any collectivized system of health-care provision and financing unavoidably involves government bureaucrats allocating many health-care dollars according to their whims, according to the social status of patients, or according to some arbitrary criteria that satisfies no one.

“Most importantly, yes, the government will step aside to let each of you make your own choices, and to let entrepreneurs experiment creatively and competitively with different ways of supplying and financing health-care.

“No, the result won’t be unlimited health-care for anyone.  But, yes, it will be more, better, and less costly health-care for everyone.  Oh – and, yes, America will also be a freer society.”

Donald J. Boudreaux