Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Single Payer and States Rights

The cause of states rights is a trap. States have limited powers. Only people have rights.

An example of this trap occurred during the Utah Senatorial debate. A studio member asked the candidates if their commitment to the state rights cause would lead them to support a single payer scheme in states opting for socialized medicine.

The candidates answered a befuddled "yes."

If the candidates thought in terms of "states power" v. "states rights," they would have immediately questioned whether or not the states have the power to impose a single payer scheme on the people.

The key feature of single payer health care is that it excludes any direct contract between patient and doctor. In single payer, it is illegal for a person in pain to go up to a doctor and pay for the relief of pain.

In single payer, there is one and only one payer that makes final decision on the health care a person receives. All other contracts are forbidden.

Do the states have the power to deny people the fundamental right to negotiate health care contracts with a physician?

When people uses the term "states rights" they end up created a paradoxical system where rights are in conflict.

Historically we find that the Democrats used the cause of "states rights" to support slavery. After the Civil War, the Democrats used the cause of "states rights" to support Jim Crow and impose segregation.

Republican advocates of states rates are trying to support the idea of a multidimensional system where government power where the federal government has a limited set of enumerated powers. The states are the primary players in local governance and a free people retain their human rights endowed by their creator.

Republicans have been trapped into arguing for the absurd concept of "states rights." The failure to make the distinction between rights and powers is likely to be detrimental to both the cause of limited distributed government.

The question of single payer hinges on the question of whether or not the government has the ability to deny the people the right to negotiate health services with a medical provider. This question is muddled when loud Republicans stand on the capitol steps and support the cause of "states rights."

Americans fought a nasty Civil War to answer the question of whether or not the states have the right to deny a race of people their liberty. Let's not muddle this important effort by using the wrong term.

No comments: