L to R: Dr. Carl Mumpower, Lelee Boyd, community advocate on healthcare, Katherine Restrepo from the John Locke Foundation.
Each week the editors of The Tribune are selecting a communication from the Buncombe County Republican Party we feel will be of interest and value to our readers. This week’s coverage comes out of a debate recently sponsored by Asheville High and the WNC Medical Society on whether health insurance should be a commodity or a right. You can learn more about your local Republican Party’s efforts at BuncombeGOP.org
At a time in our culture when communication is too often crippled by personal insults and political correctness, what a pleasure it is to share an evening with those who value the importance of civil discussion.
We’re here to debate healthcare. As a conservative, my part of that equation is easy – to articulate the evidence that healthcare services – like, food, shelter, clothing and all other necessities of life – is a commodity versus a right.
I regret the necessity of my stance. How much nicer it would be, if I could, with a clear conscience, endorse healthcare as a gift.
Unfortunately, experience demonstrates otherwise. Mother Nature demands we be fully engaged in the business of living and nothing – absolutely nothing – is free.
It’s even worse than that – her prime directive is to kill us – and she always succeeds. Arguably, many of us aid and abet Mother Nature with our own bad life choices.
From the time we’re born until we die, we are thus in a battle. The recipe for success tracks to what we Republicans like to call ‘the 4 R’s’ – reality, reason, responsibility and right – properly seasoned with the ultimate destiny determinant – good personal choices.
Tonight, you’re going to hear many reasons healthcare should be a gift. I appreciate your patience as I suggest that these claims are much like pretending there really are unicorns – sadly fraudulent.
What is true is that our healthcare system is not serving to needed potentials. That failure is due in no small measure to our pretense that the magic of science, pills, and gifted caregivers can relieve us of personal accountability. That we expect such a thing is amazing – that we seek it as a natural right – even more so.
Everything of value on this earth – and health is near the top – comes with a price tag attached – and no one – no matter how well intended – can remove it.
So, what are the answers?
My suggestion is specific – we must go to the one economic structure that has uplifted more people than any other civilizing force on our planet – the free market.
Allow me to confirm my assertion.
Check out the price of the flat screen TV’s gracing almost every home in our community – including those of our seven thousand subsidized public housing residents. These marvels of modern technology are excellent, affordable and readily available. It is the free market forces of competition, creativity, price clarity, efficiency and demand response that have united to craft that magic.
I know my suggestion is not sexy. But we have struggled too long under the yoke of a hybrid free market/socialized medicine approach that – like the old adage on Washington DC – demonstrates the efficiencies of the south combined with the charms of the north. Contrary to those insincerely attempting to discredit the free market, America’s healthcare system is failing because it is rigged, not because it is free.
The promises of socialized medicine – with imagined services that are excellent, affordable and readily available – is an illusion that has not been honestly duplicated anywhere in the world.
Our healthcare crisis commands a stronger dedication to reality than pleasantry. With socialized medicine we will all have flat screen TV’s, but they will be in black and white.
My passion on this subject is compelled by a troubling revelation – the needs of the disadvantaged, sick and lost command our best attentions. They will not be served by a bodyguard of healthcare deceptions – however pleasantly packaged.
Certainly no healthcare solution will cover everyone for every issue. Exceptions will require our best creative energies. But for a majority there is a very local example of why a free market approach serves the most the best – Bob Ingle.
Thank goodness this gentleman chose the grocery business as a career versus medicine. Look at how his free market competitive approach has blessed our community and so many others.
When we walk through his doors and those of his competitors, we are equals. We stand in the same line and pay the same amount. We all have before us a level of affordable bounty that is the envy of the world.
What the free market approach has done for food it can do for medicine – if we will only find the foresight and will to reject the deceptions of socialized medicine and the corruptions of a rigged system of competition constraint.
If we are to be well, we must first be courageous.