Why Universal Healthcare Should Be Abolished

Due to recent experience (i.e. nightmare) with Canada’s healthcare system, the destruction of universal healthcare has become my main cause.  I have always opposed it, but it has never been more clear to me that it is fundamentally flawed, and why.

First of all, Canadians are proud of our healthcare system.  Not necessarily because it is effective, but because the fact that it is “universal” gives us moral superiority over the Americans, or it at least makes us feel like we are compassionate and looking after the less fortunate.  We feel this way even though we recognize that our healthcare system has been the butt of jokes due to its infamous wait times and overcrowding, not to mention something that causes people additional pain and misery in addition to what the people involved are already going through.  But at least we have universal healthcare, right?  Not like those backwards Americans.

One major problem with universal healthcare is inherent in all government-run entities: inefficiency.  The government has no equal-footed competition (or in the case of Canada, no competition), and thus it doesn’t need to regulate itself in order to attract customers.  In the case of healthcare, inefficiency is lethal.  What do you do when you have a loved one dying and there is no doctor available to get any kind of treatment or diagnosis started, or even answer questions?  You’re sitting in the hospital hallway for hours on end, waiting and waiting for a doctor, but they never come.  You can’t find anyone to talk to that has any idea what is going on, having heard options that may have been viable at one point but you can feel slipping away as the time goes by, your loved one’s illness gets worse and worse, and nothing at all is being done about it.  That all this happened to me and my family just goes to show how much the government really cares about the people it has promised to look after, as well as the capacity the government has to care about all Canadians (or citizens of whatever country you live in).  It just simply doesn’t have that capacity, and people fall through the cracks as a result.  And it’s not like you have any other options short of leaving the country, hoping to find someone that will help you, but that is not always possible.

Another major problem with universal healthcare is that it forces people to have an interest in running other people’s lives.  Leftists might look at this as a positive, because it gets people to care about other people’s health.  Unfortunately, it also forces everyone to pay for other people’s bad choices (such as smoking, eating unhealthily, doing drugs, practicing risky sexual practices, etc), and those other people don’t necessarily care that they are a burden on the healthcare system.  In fact, that they have equal access to treatment as someone who does take care of him or herself doesn’t present any kind of disincentive against their unhealthy lifestyle.  With higher insurance premiums or something, they might have such a disincentive.  But if taxpayers weren’t forced to pay for other people’s healthcare, it would be no one’s concern but those who don’t take care of their health, so that is a moot point.  Really, the poor health they experience should be enough of a disincentive against a risky lifestyle, but it obviously isn’t for some people.  Now why should I be forced to care about the health of people who don’t even care about their own health?

I support free-market based healthcare.  I am not necessarily opposed to vouchers that would allow people who can’t afford access to healthcare to access it, since the key here is competition.  Healthcare providers competing with each other to attract customers, improving their service and efficiency in the pursuit of maximized profit.  The free market is also conducive to innovation, as different companies attempt to increase their market share by investing in research and development.  The concept of paying for healthcare out of pocket is unappealing to most Canadians, but we already pay a lot in taxes.  I would personally rather pay out of pocket for better services than the exorbitant taxes that taxpayers have to pay for things they don’t use.  Especially if that would mean saving someone’s life by giving them access to more efficient healthcare.  Something else that is distasteful to many people is apparently the concept of “profiting off of people’s sickness” (which is something that also apparently has to do with cars), which is basically a subset of the thought that there is something inherently icky about profit.  I personally think profit is what produces widespread prosperity, so I’m not inclined to think that way and in fact think that is a moronic, irrational, emotional thing to think (or “feel”).

But the United States healthcare is free-market based, and it is even more expensive than universal healthcare systems!  Under a free market healthcare system, taxpayers would ideally only have to pay for vouchers, with competition keeping costs low.  Government involvement would ideally stop there (if it goes there at all).  The problem with the American healthcare system is that government involvement didn’t stop there.  The government has its grimy tentacles in all aspects of the economy.  It’s not even close to being a free market system.

Assuming a free market healthcare system were to exist, the next question would be whether or not to provide vouchers.  I said that I am not necessarily opposed to them, but I don’t necessarily support them either.  It all comes down to whether or not healthcare is a right.  People get confused about what is a right all the time, and in general, I don’t consider any commodity a right.  The United States Declaration of Independence lists “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as rights.  That is equivalent to saying that everyone has the right to equality of opportunity.  Of course, people randomly die all the time, so it’s not possible for the government to ensure that everyone’s right to life is always secured.  But having in place a system that maximizes the security in people’s right to life is what I support.  It remains to be seen how much vouchers would actually be needed to ensure that, since a free market healthcare system has never actually been tried in modern society, as far as I know, so it is difficult to say how available healthcare would actually be under such a system.  Who knows, private charities might be enough.

In conclusion, I wish for the death of the universal healthcare system as well as the belief that universal healthcare is morally acceptable.  I know first hand the shortcomings of our universal healthcare system, and they are not acceptable.  But while my experience is not statistically significant, my family is not the only one with a bad experience.  In the past week or so alone, I’ve seen two separate stories on the news about such shortcomings.  Hopefully, I have also provided some reasoning for why universal healthcare is overrated and should be replaced by a free-market based system.

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