Again with health care and socialists

I keep coming back to this topic, I guess because I keep seeing it in the news. My most recent post about Socialized Medicine was back in March, I think.

Anyway, last weekend the Wall Street Journal had a letter to the editor from Lehigh Economics Professor Stephen Snyder. Snyder was commenting on an earlier WSJ article comparing the market for veterinary services with the market for medical services. That article suggested some advantages to the veterinary system (which is capitalist) over our medical system (socialist).

Snyder criticizes this in a few ways:
1. Plenty of veterinary spending is not helpful and may be harmful
– Perhaps, but isn’t this true of our medical system as well?

2. Quality of veterinary care dubious in some situations
– Perhaps, but I’ve heard that about some human hospitals

3. A lot of animals get little or no care, and suffer and die as a result
– Isn’t this what we keep hearing about the uninsured in America?

4. The veterinary system has a safety valve the human system lacks; a pet can always be euthanized.
– Maybe we should apply that thinking to our current system. Maybe Medicaid shouldn’t pay for 400 pound smokers to get bypass surgery, but that doesn’t happen in a socialist system. I’m not saying we have to put anyone down involuntarily, but capitalism might force some rationality into decision making like that.

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