I told someone on a radio show the other day that I chose liberty because I want to be free. I don’t choose liberty because it results in the best and most rational allocation of scarce resources. This is simply a bonus.
That’s the difference between the thought processes of the Austrian economists and those of other schools. The Austrians say in essence that they don’t care what you do with money robbed from them. All they care about is that they were robbed. Any discussion distal to the robbery is superfluous.
I like the Austrian’s approach. This sounds very simple but is extremely powerful stuff. When a statist is arguing about the superiority of their plan over that of another government plan, the simple answer is, “..but you have to rob me first, either way, no?”
I have been interviewed a fair amount lately as a result of the court’s decision and due almost exclusively to the promotional efforts of my friend Dr. Jane Orient and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Prior to each interview I remind myself to keep my eye on the premise. Discussions downstream of a rotten premise are at best a waste of time, at worst very distracting and destructive.
Here are some of my “anchoring” thoughts/premises:
1)The consequences of the Unafforable Care Act (UCA) will be borne by patients. Talk of how this negatively affects doctors bores me. It may hurt physicians’ business, but that matters only in that patients will be denied, delayed and euthanized as a result.
2)Almost anything that oozes out of Washington will line the pockets of those who wrote or promoted it.
3)Coverage doesn’t mean care. This is Jane Orient’s quote and I think sums things up.
4)A single payer system is the ultimate goal of the statists and they hope to accomplish this by creating chaos in the medical economy with the UCA. This plan is meant to fail.
5)The electronic medical record systems will serve as the KGB of medical intelligence. Ironic that the propaganda surrounding this intrusion succeeded in getting physicians and facilities to provide the state with this information voluntarily, rather than hire goons to gather it!
6)Physicians working as employees of hospitals are key to the success of a state-run plan, as rather than work for their patients, these quasi-physicians will tow the line for their employer and the state
7)As the state becomes even more involved in medical care, people’s illnesses will represent a liability on the balance sheet. Those with chronic illness will be targeted for neglect or extermination in order to save face for the increasingly bankrupt state health plan.
8)Those physicians who brave this storm, stay dedicated to their patients, embrace and follow free market principles and eschew the leverage of third party payment will thrive as the distinction between the care they render and that of their employed counterparts will become even more stark as time goes by.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.