Thursday, December 31, 2009

Health Care and Redistributive Justice

Barack Obama is not the first politician to use the health care system for the goal of redistributive justice.

There's been a long history of people wishing to use the medical system to right the wrongs of the world. It is not uncommon for doctors, insurance companies and others to pad bills here and there with the intent of helping others.

For that matter, people in the medical community have been extremely good about extending care to those without the funds to pay for care.

Of course, in some cases, people who started out with the intent of engagingin redistributive justice ended up redistributing the funds to themselves.

The political class is especially bad about redistributing the funds raised in the name of redistributed justice back to members of the political class.

I've mentioned multiple times that insurance itself is a device to achieve the goal of redistributive justice. Insurance takes money from a group of people and redistributes it to group members with a medical need.

This idea of padding bills with the intent of redistributing care is so entrenched in the current medical system that "redistributive-justice" has become the primary reason that our medical bills are so out of whack with reality.

The reason that we do not get straightforward pricing for health care in America is not because there are evil people seeking profit. The reason we don't get straightforward pricing is because there's a large number of people good people with the good intent of engaging in redistributive justice.

Traditionally Americans put up with those seeking to use medicine for redistributive justice is that many of our best and brightest work in health care and we have great faith in their integrity an sense of justice.

Owners of the local hamburger joint or used car dealership would love to engage in the same "redistributive justice" as hospitals. But we do not put up with it and are more vocal in our demand for fair pricing.

There is some value to redistributive-justice.

The problem with redistributive-justice is that when there is too much of it the redistributive-justice itself becomes a source of oppression.

In the United States we find that there is so much padding of bills that we have driven the cost of health care from the means of many middle class Americans.

It is likely that the new layers of redistibutive-justice being added to the system is simply going to drive prices up higher and will result in more people driven into insolvency.

In my opinion, the best form of redistributive justice does not involve robbing Peter to pay Paul. The best form of redistributive justice involves helping people up to make them self-sufficient.

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