?I want the GOP and their right-wing allies and my co-columnist Seth Grossman to keep their hands off my health care as well as off my parents? health care.?
— Norm Cohen, Current and Gazette Newspapers, March 15, 201
First, there is nothing ?right-wing? about me, David or Charles Koch, or Steve Lonegan. Or George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Richard Stockton or Abraham Lincoln. We all share the traditional American belief that governments are created to serve a very limited purpose ? to protect the ?unalienable? rights of each individual including ?life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.?
We reject ?modern? doctrines like nationalism, communism, socialism, fascism (i.e., national-socialism) and environmentalism. These ?isms? are all alike in denying the right of each citizen to pursue his or her own individual dreams. They instead demand that each citizen be an instrument to advance what is said to be best for the nation, the community (class), society, or the planet.
Who decides what is best for the group or planet? A small ruling elite. Anyone who dares to disagree with them is ridiculed or denounced as ignorant, selfish or an enemy.
Second, neither I nor any conservative wants to take away anything that truly belongs to Norm Cohen. Not his health care, nor his house, his car, or anything else that truly belongs to him. We who believe in liberty respect the right of each individual to own and keep the things he or she honestly earned and paid for.
But do Norm Cohen and his parents really ?own? the health and nursing home care they say they want to keep? The short answer is yes ? but only if they paid the full price for them. Otherwise, Norm Cohen is claiming a right to use the government to force others to pay for things he thinks he is entitled to.
The basic idea of liberty is that government protects the freedom of each of us to do what we want ? but cannot force others to do what we want against their will.
Medical care and nursing homes do not grow like weeds. We get them only because others choose to go through years of training to become doctors, nurses or technicians ? or choose to do the often unpleasant jobs of cooking, cleaning and caring for patients. Since these people are not slaves, they willingly do their jobs to give us the health care we want because they are paid. But who should pay them? And who should decide how much to pay?
Where there is liberty, each of us pays for what we want. We each freely decide what to buy, who to buy from and how much to pay. This is how we buy food, clothes, cars, cellphones and airplane tickets, and hire the people who cut our hair and mow our lawns. Where we have a free market we usually get lots of choices, good service or products, and affordable prices.
Americans used to have a free market for health care. Fifty years ago, almost everybody paid doctors out of their own pockets, just like we pay auto mechanics. There were plenty of good doctors and dentists to choose from, and fees were affordable. My dad was a dentist who charged only $2 for a filling. Most doctors and dentists like my dad lived modestly in the same neighborhoods as their patients, often in apartments upstairs from their offices.
At that time, medical insurance was very affordable because it only paid for rare catastrophic illnesses that involved long hospitals stays. Having medical insurance pay for a sore throat or birth control was as unthinkable as having auto insurance pay for an oil change or windshield wiper blades.
Americans who could not afford medical insurance got better medical care than well-off people in most countries thanks to countless charities like the Shriners.
But then we demanded and got ?free? medical care. ?Now, most of us pay doctors with insurance or government money instead of our own. Doctors and drug companies charge a whole lot more, since patients no longer care about price. Why shop for a used cane or walker if you are ?entitled? to a brand new one! We spend a fortune on paperwork.
Too much government and too little liberty created the mess in health care. Help us turn things around by demanding more liberty and less government. Join us in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 27 in the Hands Off My Health Care Rally. For bus information see?www.handsoffmyhealthcare.com.
(Reprinted from March 21, 2012 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/politics/22494-medical-insurance-was-affordable-before-free-health-care.html)
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears on 92.1FM 8-9 a.m. Saturday. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Shore Diner on Fire and Tilton roads in Egg Harbor Township.
(Image source – http://martyvanags.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/health-care-cartoon.jpg)