Saturday, July 9, 2016

If "all lives matter", then why don't we have universal healthcare?


The phrase "all lives matter" is to say that violence against any peaceful person (regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, etc) is never justified. That's irrespective of healthcare, prisons or being homeless.

why don't we have universal healthcare?

Since the 1960s, healthcare has ceased to be a service provided by a market.

There's little if any competition, price transparency, comparison shopping, etc. There are many reasons for this, chief among them is that the industry is extremely regulated. As a result, it's extremely expensive. So expensive that most people cannot afford it on their own, and must rely on third party insurance. Consider that >90% of US adults have a cell phone and 87% use the Internet. How did that happen? Cell phones are so cheap that anyone who wants one can get one. This happened because the government (for the most part) did not interfere with the development and distribution of cell phones.

Additionally, governments can't overturn economic laws. There's only so many resources available, including medical resources and doctors. Simply waving the magic wand of passing a (political) law doesn't suddenly make it so there are enough doctors and medical resources for every single possible medical need. The only way we know that happens is through a market process.

There are some doctors who are trying to change this:

* Surgery Center of Oklahoma They list the prices of all of their services online.  
* AtlasMD, direct primary care practice You pay a flat monthly fee and you get 24/7 access to your doctor.

I recommend the book Primal Prescription: Surviving the 'Sick Care' Sinkhole.

why are prisons privatized?

Governments do not fully privatize services such as prisons. They purchase contracts from private firms to provide the services which have grown too costly for them to produce themselves. This is unfortunately called privatization by most policy makers and many academics. I can only guess that this is an attempt to poison the well for the idea of privatization, or simply because they are repeating what someone else said and don't bother to actually consider the distinction.

This topic is further elucidated here: https://mises.org/library/changing-guard-private-prisons-and-control-crime-alexander-tabarrok-ed and http://www.cato-unbound.org/2007/08/19/bruce-l-benson/privatization-versus-contracting-out

why are there still homeless people?

One reason is that people make poor choices and do not prepare adequately. This combined with government policy, results in homelessness. Consider the US government's initiative for the past several decades to "make homes more affordable". The effect of their attempts to make homes more affordable is to make them more expensive.