[July 25, 2007 @ 9:45 am] David Catron

Walter Williams, with his usual clarity, asks a question that every voter should consider when weighing the relative merits of socialized medicine and free market health care:

How would you like the people who run the motor vehicles department, the government education system, foreign intelligence and other government agencies to also run our health care system?

When the question is put so lucidly, without the sanctimonious obfuscations and general humbug so beloved of the socialized medicine crowd, the choice isn’t really very difficult. Williams goes on to point out:

There’s absolutely no mystery why our greatest complaints are in the arena of government-delivered services and the fewest in market-delivered services. In the market, there are the ruthless forces of profit, loss and bankruptcy that make producers accountable to us.

As an example of the low level of quality invariably associated with services controlled by government bureaucrats, Williams points to our increasingly ineffective system of public education:

Government schools can go for decades delivering low-quality services, and what’s the result? The people who manage it earn higher pay. It’s nearly impossible to fire the incompetents. And, taxpayers, who support the service, are given higher tax bills.

There can be little doubt that a government monopoly in health care will produce the same unsatisfactory results. Indeed, those areas of health care already under government control show precisely this pattern. So, here’s how Williams answers his own question:

I’d choose profit-driven people to provide my health care services, people with motives like those who deliver goods to my supermarket, deliver my overnight mail, produce my computer and software programs, assemble my car and produce a host of other goods and services that I use.


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