Libertarianism: an abject moral and ethical failure, IMO

What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? Are you saying society should just let him die?

That’s the question put to Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) by Wolf Blitzer in the closing moments of Monday night’s Tea Party Express/CNN GOP Debate.

Before Paul could answer, several members of the Tea Party laden audience enthusiastically shouted out “Yeah!”

Yeah, let him die! Yeah!

Nobody in the crowd objected.

And then, right there, you got to see exactly who and what Ron Paul really is.

 

Read:  Brothers Keeper

 

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This is the reason we do not need government involved in our healthcare. Some things we should ask ourselves:

 

Should taxpayers foot the bill to pay health related costs of those who have pursued unhealthy lifestyles for years, and are now suffering the consequences? We live in a nation where it's estimated nearly 50% of the people are overweight/obese. These people aren't sick, they don't have an eating disorder, they just eat too much. Obesity alone is responsible for numerous health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, among others. should taxpayers pay for these health-related costs?

 

Should taxpayers foot the bill for a liver transplant for a chronic alcoholic?

 

Should taxpayers pay for the cancer treatment of someone who has been smoking their entire life?

 

Personally, I don't care if someone is overweight. I don't care if someone drinks too much, or smokes. They should be able to enjoy their lives the way they see fit. But now we are faced with the very real possibility that taxpayers (not the government) will have to pay for these and other health-related costs. That should concern all of us: Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, atheists, and theists alike.

 

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see the debate, and I sure would've liked to have seen the responses to Mr. Blitzer's question.

 

Be well-

"Should taxpayers foot the bill to pay health related costs of those who have pursued unhealthy lifestyles for years, and are now suffering the consequences?"

Yes, taxpayers should foot the bill.

 

"Should taxpayers pay for the cancer treatment of someone who has been smoking their entire life?"

Yes, taxpayers should pay

you didn't read the post that was linked, did you Chris?

Should tax payers foot the bill to pay health care?

Of course... healthy lifestyle or not all of us are eventually going to need to use health care services. In fact those people who have full coverage health care are generally healthier than those who don't have health care so it stands to reason that if everyone in the US was covered the US would be healthier.

 

Should taxpayers foot the bill for a liver transplant for a chronic alcoholic?

Ummm.... chronic alcoholics don't get liver transplants under the current system. I don't see why health care paid for via taxes would change the availability of livers or the rules surrounding who gets a transplant. 

 

 

Hmm, there is a really good point in here, aside from other points which I generally agree with. Since we don't give livers to chronic alcoholics, we could perhaps make healthcare less of a burden on the taxpayer by omitting other types of care as well. Chronic smokers may disqualify themselves from certain healthcare benefits, as a starting point. I would rather go that route than have so many people without healthcare. Yes, we as a society should be inclusive and provide healthcare to the general population (with some exceptions to ease the costs perhaps), but we should also be trying to come together as a society to prevent the socioeconomic and emotional problems which are the cause of much disease. It is a lot easier to abdicate all social responsibility, as the libertarian would, than to take social responsibility and all the extra work it entails to try to find solutions to common human problems. To say that we should not be able to use government to come together as a common people to solve common problems is to shackle humanity in the dark ages.

I have a problem with your statement that "chronic smokers may disqualify themselves from certain healthcare benefits", because you don't specify WHICH benefits. A lung transplant, yes, because if they continue to smoke, the lungs will not keep them alive for very long, and those lungs could have gone to someone else who would take better care of them, but what OTHER benefits?

My other concern is that, as soon as bureaucrats start making medical decisions, they start to put people in boxes, and then there are always people who fall between the cracks. I remember, in the early days of dialysis, there were hospital committees who made the decision about who would get dialysis and who would die. One of the arguments for the choice was, a man who had a family should get dialysis, but a childless woman should not. (The govt. is still discriminating in favor of those with children -- look at the child tax credit!)

Finally, if we can deny benefits to smokers, then we are on a slippery slope that will surely include denying benefits to the obese, who, in spite of popular public opinion, really do NOT overeat themselves into obesity (except insofar as they follow the govt.-sponsored guidelines to eat a lot of carbs, and not enough protein). Obesity is a FAR more complex issue than most people are willing to believe, and if we GET the obese, who is next? The disabled, especially because many of them can't work, and therefore don't contribute to society? The elderly, because they have too many illnesses -- time for them to die anyway? Obviously being a bit sarcastic here, but I AM afraid of creeping "healthism", which is a word I just made up!

Good points. I specifically didn't say which benefits because it would then clearly get very messy, as you pointed out. The way I see it is that people are smokers or are obese and such for a reason or reasons, and we ought to be able to distinguish between people who have become unhealthy due to poor socioeconomic conditions or due to personal irresponsibility. A person who has suffered their whole life and overeats is a lot different from a person who had all the advantages and who eats the same amount because they are gluttonous. Even in the latter case, one wonders whether they are gluttonous because of some genetic problem, or emotional problem, and whether they rather need help too, but of a different kind than the former. I agree with you that there is a slippery slope here, which is why I would err on the side of helping people rather than letting them die, as the libertarians apparently would have it.

"we ought to be able to distinguish between people who have become unhealthy due to poor socioeconomic conditions or due to personal irresponsibility. A person who has suffered their whole life and overeats is a lot different from a person who had all the advantages and who eats the same amount because they are gluttonous."

 

Why even bother going through this whole process... It's so much easier and mind you more cost effective to just pay for healthcare through taxes.  Can you imagine how much money would go into determining if one is unhealthy due to their own fault or not?

Maybe it would be a great deal of money if done inefficiently. But I may be suggesting some radical societal shift or something. I know it's idealistic, but I just hold that it may be possible to live in a society which, however far from our own, approaches the problems of the poor and the disadvantaged in a holistic, organismic, integrated and efficient sort of way.
If you haven't noticed the government does everything inefficiently.
Uh, what?  Medicare and Medicaid are far more efficient than private health insurance.
In addition to Medicaid and Medicare, I've read that the VA is, in general, also very efficient. Of course, you're going to hear horror stories about all of them, because mistakes and screwups DO happen, but all of the above get far more bang for their buck than private insurance companies do, because they're not paying off shareholders and expensive CEO's and upper management.
If you are suggesting, as these "government is the problem" morons do, that government is by its very nature corrupt, then 1. to whatever degree our government is inefficient, it may be because our society is too far removed from an ideal state, and 2. you would then be unable to justify any form of government. Libertarians are just anarchists with the only exception being a police state designed to protect the interests of the powerful. It is a hypocritical and shameless perspective.

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