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Why government health care is wrong

March 25, 2010

Let me illustrate–as the liberals love to do–with an example from my own life.  I’ll follow the examples with the reasoning.

I was born with crooked teeth: crowded and one eye tooth stopped descending too soon.  Anybody’s fault? No.  Injustice? No. No “wrong” to be “righted;” just the luck of the draw. Life isn’t fair (see my earlier post on common sense.)

When I was a teenager my father took me to an orthodontist for a consult.  The orthodontist offered a treatment plan and my dad wanted to know whether he would guarantee the result.  He wouldn’t. Dad decided to forgo the treatment for me.  Do I blame him? No.  He was my parent and as such it was his decision. Under the socialist way of looking at things, my dad would have been a bad parent. The state, not the parent, would decide.  It takes a village, after all.

A bit later, the Air Force Academy offered me treatment.  They said they could fix things by pulling 4 teeth and putting me in braces for two of my remaining three cadet years. Call me crazy, but I didn’t like the idea of losing four perfectly good teeth. I passed.  They were incredulous that I would pass up free treatment, warned me that the offer wouldn’t happen again and I think even made me sign a piece of paper refusing the treatment.  You see, you have to be crazy to turn down government largesse.  It’s free, right? Well, no: somebody has to pay for it. The taxpayer.

Then much later in life I decided I wanted to have my teeth straightened.  I had paid for my wife’s orthodontic care and my son’s.  I felt it was my turn.  My health, my choice.  Had we been in a socialized medicine situation, they would have looked up the record.  Sorry, buddy, you refused care before and it’s too late now.  You’re too old. We’re going to save the treatmend dollars for somebody younger.  Should have taken the chance when you had it.

But we weren’t in Obamacare. I looked up a couple of orthodontists and got a couple of recommendations. I did two consults and got two different treatment plans. Choice: the essence of the free market. Competition. Under socialized medicine, a board will decide what the appropriate treatment plans are–not you and not your doctor. Since the government is paying, they decide. A lot like my father deciding when I was 14–but I haven’t been 14 for a long time and I resent the government choosing for me.

One plan called for 26-30 months in braces and the other for 20; I chose the shorter one.  Only one tooth would need to be extracted and another one shaved a bit to make it fit.  (I still have all four teeth the government orthodontist would have pulled.) By waiting I received the benefit of advanced techniques not available when I was a teenager. The free market had advanced the science of orthodontics.

Furthermore, I decided to wait a year to begin treatment. I wanted to pay for it through a Medical Savings Account and I’d just missed the deadline to start the account. Yes, government mandates controlled when I could start the plan and how much I could contribute.  Under socialized government-controlled health care, they will control a lot more than that.  Again, my choice: I could have paid straight out of pocket and forgone the tax advantage but chose not to.

The treatment has been finished almost four years now and I’m very happy with the process and the result. The orthodontist and his staff are all very friendly people with the interests of their patients at heart. Under government-controlled health care, that is not the case. The government is footing the bill and they are the ones who must be appeased. The patient is just a means to get government payments.

All the along the way I had choices and I was the beneficiary of the free market in health care. Why in Heaven’s name would I want to give that up for government-controlled care? Why would anybody?

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