Star Parker

Want to know what troubles our American health care system?

Consider the thoughts of psychiatrist and Nazi death camp survivor Viktor Frankl.

After spending time in our country as a visiting professor, he saw the looming dangers of freedom without responsibility. He observed: "Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast."

We as Americans accept that health care is an individual right, even if someone else is paying for it. The truth that every personal right must have an accompanying personal responsibility is now lost in our self-absorbed materialistic culture. We have only rights, entitlements if you will.

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Few have any idea what the costs are of the health care they receive. Many get it tax subsidized through their employer, many get it through Medicare in a now bankrupt Ponzi scheme in which those working pay taxes to pay for care of those retired, and more than sixty million Americans do not pay at all through Medicaid and SCHIP programs.

Hundreds of millions receive health care the costs of which have little or nothing to do with their own personal realities and then we wonder why those costs are out of control.

Now Ted Kennedy has introduced his solution to all of this, which also captures the thinking of our president. Set up a new government health care plan, subsidized of course by taxes, and call this choice because you are not forced to take it (although you are forced to pay taxes for it).

As Senator Kennedy announces more free health care -- meaning one group of Americans will get what another group of Americans will pay for -- the disconnect between who gets health care services and who pays for them will grow even greater.

Costs will be controlled, according to Senator Kennedy, by setting up a new army of bureaucrats who will get rid of proverbial "fraud and abuse," will decide for doctors how to treat their patients, and will decide for us how we should behave by dictating the preventative measures we must take for our own good.

To put on a show for what this all might look like, a few weeks ago President Obama "invited" representatives from the major sectors of the health care business -- doctors, insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical firms, medical device manufacturers -- to the White House to tell us all how much they would commit to lowering costs.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.