The Historian Of Decline

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Doctors support parallel private health

Canadian doctors have discovered what the rest of the world has known for a long time: goods and services cannot be allocated properly by centralized agencies.

"The Canadian Medical Association is now backing a private, for-profit health system.

Dr. John Slater of Comox, B.C. says: "I have stopped believing in Santa Claus and I have stopped believing the government will ever fix the monopoly system.

He adds that governments have had 40 years to get the monopoly system right but have failed; meanwhile, the casualties are piling up.

"One of them has been my wife,'' says Slater."

After World War II the prevailing wisdom was that free markets caused harm to the common people. Governments everywhere took upon themselves the responsibility of managing their economies, only to fail miserably. One by one, nations partially rolled back government control and allowed more markets to function than they had previously. It became apparent that markets were positive forces in the lives of people everywhere. Under free markets, people obtain something they want by giving up something a seller wants. Everybody wins!

To the Canadian state-run health system, all of this never happened. The passage of time has forced an admition that the system is not working, and that it was a mistake in the first place. The working man, who is theorized by Marxists to be the beneficiary of state economic control, has found his pocket picked by governments who are hungry for billions of new dollars for health care while being unable to control the soaring costs of their system. Furthermore, it is the working man who suffers and sometimes dies trying to get health care from a system that often cannot provide it.

If the intention was simply to provide free health care to everyone, there are other methods of accomplishing that without giving the state a monopoly on an entire sector of the economy. The Canadian health system has more to do with blind faith in marxist theory than handing out free health care. Canada's intellectuals need to learn some economics and stop fighting positive change, and the CMA's about-face is one step in that direction.

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