Re: Public Health Care (was Re: More Green Party)

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Sun Jul 02 2000 - 06:00:04 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 03:05 PM 1/07/00 -0400, Brian Atkins wrote:
> >That's fine if you believe that [compulsory taxation in support of the
> commonweal]
> >- but what if you didn't believe it?
> What if you don't believe in immunisation or fluoridation, or reading and
> writing, for your own children? This is obviously a highly vexed question,

blah blah blah digressing away from the direct question. What you can do
if you want is continue the idea of letting the "social services" or
whatever they call it down under take away the kids from the parents if
there is "abuse." So let the family unsubscribe from all the government
schemes, but if they get poor and can't keep their private insurance
going or whatever then they either go back on the public system or lose
the kids.

Why does it always come down to the kids in these types of freedom issues?
Let's consider strictly adults if that makes it easier.

> and I suppose most people here would fight to the death to allow a fellow
> citizen to keep her child as susceptible to disease and caries as possible,
> though possible not illiterate. I don't even know what my own opinion is -
> I suspect some kind of implicit `social contract' theory might kick in, in
> which, naturally, communal reinterpretation of the terms of the contract
> should be an on-going process. Humans are critters selected to live in
> *groups*, however individualistic we might be. The very language we use to
> debate such issues is a collective construct, not an idiographic one
> (however much playful wordsters like me might deform it).
> >Why
> >should you be forced to contribute to that system? Why not have an option
> >to not contribute and also be denied access to it?
> In Oz, people who choose to send their kids to church or other private
> schools get a chunk of their tax money back in grants to those schools. Is
> it equal to the amount they pay? I don't know - possibly in toto it is,

That's nice if it is equal, but do I also get a dividend based on what I
could have earned on that money in the time between taxation and "giveback"
by investing it? Why does the government still have to get its paws on it?

> since it's mostly Catholics who support private church schools and they
> tend not to be the wealthy in Australia. On the other hand, the whole
> theory of the thing is that those who get side benefits of the system (all
> of us; the childless as well as the fecund, etc) also have to pay, just as
> law-abiding citizens shell out for the incarceration of criminals; it's
> presumably deemed a happier outcome than letting them run loose.

Ok so this is the all or nothing argument. Let's stay on topic here, and
talk strictly about the health care, not about prisons or whatever. You
are arguing that because of "side benefits" I should not be able to with-
draw from the system. This is like saying that because of some side
benefits of a religion (such as altruistic acts) I should be forced to
worship it? I just don't understand the logic here. That's great if you
have created some system that has some side benefits for me, but don't
force me to participate. That is like giving someone a gift, and then
expecting something in return.

> None of this is meant to suggest that there isn't `a Better Way'. But it
> does argue that this way of thinking about governance isn't `idiotic' or
> evil, or any other similar epithet likely to be heard in this forum.

I'm just trying to get it straight in my mind why such a system is a good
thing. Perhaps I'm wrong and we need a system like that in the USA. I am
just fact finding at the moment.

> >It's like the government
> >has chosen a religion for you, and you have no choice but to worship it.
> I had the strong impression that in the States sanctimonious Xianity
> approaches that condition. :)

That's below the belt :-)

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