Kevin Drum’s favorite principled Hayekian free marketeer weighs in on the principles the right should embrace on heath care:
2. A rejection of health care egalitarianism, namely a recognition that the wealthy will purchase more and better health care than the poor. Trying to equalize health care consumption hurts the poor, since most feasible policies to do this take away cash from the poor, either directly or through the operation of tax incidence. We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor. Some of you don’t like the sound of that, but we already let the wealthy enjoy all sorts of other goods — most importantly status — which lengthen their lives and which the poor enjoy to a much lesser degree. We shouldn’t screw up our health care institutions by being determined to fight inegalitarian principles for one very select set of factors which determine health care outcomes.
They are who we thought they were.
Update. That made me so mad, I couldn’t think of anything to write. Here’s what gets me: it’s already true that people die all the time just because they are poor. They don’t have health insurance so they never see a doctor, so things get caught late so they die. The point of universal coverage is to change that. Glibertarians always want to turn it into “what if there were a 5 billion dollar life-saving treatment, would gubmint insurance cover it”? And the answer of course is “no”, anyway.
The reality is, and always will be, that the very rich can afford things that the rest of us can’t. Fine. But to make it a principle that the poor should die just because they are poor sometimes?