Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Is health care 'for people' or 'for profit?'

"Happy first birthday, Obamacare," wrote perennial letter writer Paul Whitely, Sr., recently in the (Louisville) Courier-Journal.

Whitely extends his birthday greeting by wishing the federal health-care fiasco "many more birthdays until we ultimately secure single-payer health care in America. It will happen when citizens finally realize that health care is for people, not for profit."

But hold on, Paul. What is the motivation that creates the supply of health care needed to meet the demand -- whether it's a cholesterol-lowering drug or a pacemaker? Is it not the ability to make a "profit?"

"Health care is for people, not for profit" may make a nice slogan. But we know from countries which have removed profit incentives from their health care systems that the nice slogan becomes a disastrous policy that costs lives.

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