Here as in numerous other cases, what it would cost to take care of the poor is a small fraction of what it costs to finance huge programs that cover -- and restrict -- everybody.
It is not just the political left that stands in the way of allowing more organs to be made available through the free market to those who are dying. An article in the neo-conservative quarterly The Public Interest argued that non-profit organizations alone should be allowed to handle any financial transactions if organ sales are permitted.
The fact that some organizations call the money they make "profits" and others do not seems to impress some people. But one of the biggest non-profit organizations dealing in organ donations today spends no more than half the money it takes in on actual organ donations, according to Forbes magazine. This non-profit paragon has even stonewalled the federal government on what they are spending the rest of the money for.
Like other bureaucracies, the organ donation bureaucracy produces arbitrary rules. These rules have kept people from getting organ transplants that were available because they were not available in the particular regions where they happened to live.
The fundamental problem is not simply how to ration the existing shortage of organs. The problem is how to reduce the shortage by getting more organs by lifting the ban on sales.
People who think that they should be the arbiters of other people's destinies are bad enough when they want to choose winners and losers in industry and commerce. But when they want to choose who lives and who dies, that is a little much.
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