I have mixed feelings about social media but at the end of the day--It is fairly easy to disengage when overwhelmed and return when curious or needing a little engagement. I recently followed a thread about healthcare where the topic of the role of government surfaced. A bit of a rant about "government buffoons" drew me into the conversation. I directly questioned whether healthcare was a human right or a commodity. I wasn't being cheeky. The solutions are different for each ideology.
The answer was boldly "It is not a human right". This troubled me for a variety of reasons. I have a solid understanding of economics, US constitution, and government precedent in healthcare legislation. I also have no idea how it is possible to lack compassion or humanity toward your fellow man.
Having said that, I certainly support the right we all have to our unique ideology but perhaps not our own facts. But here is the thing. You can believe in something but you also need appropriate context. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) proclaimed in 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) states the following:
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
I think it is disingenuous to lump healthcare into the free market economy and hope for the best. The opinion voiced in the LinkedIn thread stated "free market works every time it's tried". I quibble on a person actually voluntary entering the free market for healthcare--who opts for sickness?
But I would make the case for a repugnant market.
"A repugnant market is an area of commerce that is considered by society to be outside of the range of market transactions and that bringing this area into the realm of a market would be inherently immoral or uncaring."--Wikipedia
If you would like a deeper dive, the lecture at the London School of Economics is quite interesting. The discussion of kidney transplantation and repugnant markets is fascinating. Nobel laureate Alvin E. Roth also wrote a book, Who Gets What--and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design with direct applicability to how we define a healthcare market.
James Diesenberry famously distinguished economics from sociology, “Economics is all about how people make choices. Sociology is all about why they don't have any choices to make.” As quoted in: National Bureau of Economic Research, Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries (1960)
Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead--Jonathan Swift 1710
Browse the archive...
Thank you for making a donution!
In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
Sign up for our newsletter!