Pediatric cardiologist Jim Schroeder has been active responding to state and national level attention being paid to health care in Grand Junction, CO.
In particular, he has responded to some recent articles and opinion pieces in the Grand Junction news:
" Obama invited to tour valley health insurer" (June 11, 2009)
" Grand Junction shows how a responsible health system can operate" (June 18, 2009)
" GJ's acclaimed health care system may not be easy to replicate" (June 21, 2009)
Here is Dr. Schroeder's analysis, reproduced in full (with his permission):
Grand Junction in the SpotlightDr. Schroeder makes many excellent points.
My only additional comment is to note that when producers and consumers are allowed to exchange goods and services in a free market (which the current system is not), the result is not rationing. Instead, it's an allocation based on people acting according to their own values and priorities in a just fashion.
Someone who purchases health care from a willing provider has earned it.
If someone needs medical care but can't pay for it, then he should ask for voluntary charity from others. But he should not demand it as some sort of "right" owed to him by a provider -- that would be asking for the unearned.
In contrast, rationing is a system in which the government allocates some good service according to its assessment, independent of the wishes of those who produce it. This violates the rights of the producers and the other consumers who may wish to trade with the producer on other voluntary terms.
This is the gross injustice of rationing, and we've seen the end result in other countries such as Canada and Great Britain, where the government decides who gets what sorts of access to advanced technology, and when.
Let's hope we never see that in the US.