Even though survey after survey shows that 75 percent or more of Americans are satisfied with the quality of their health care, no one I know denies that health care reform is needed.
Under the terms of our Constitution, every individual has a right to care for their health, just as they have a right to eat. But the right to care for one's health does not imply that government must provide health care, anymore than our right to eat in order to live requires government to own the farms and raise the crops.
With good reason, the Constitution left the administration of public health, like that of most public goods, decentralized.
If there is any doubt that control of health care services should not have been placed in the federal government, we need only to look at the history of Medicare and Medicaid, a history in which fraud has proliferated despite all efforts to stop it and failure to control costs has become a national nightmare.
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The good news is that we have a choice. There are three basic models for health care delivery that are available to us.
1. Today's business-government partnership in which bureaucratized insurance companies monopolize the field in most states.
2. The progressive model promoted by the Obama administration and congressional leaders, in which federal bureaucrats tell us which services are allowed.
3. The model consistent with our Constitution, in which health care providers compete in a free and transparent market, and in which individual consumers are in control.
Bureaucrats don't make decisions about health care according to personal need or preference; they ration resources according to a dollar-driven social exclusive. Our health system is the best in the world, even drawing patients from other advanced countries that have suffered by adopting the government-run model.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.