‘Free medical care guaranteed for all’

I recently finished the second book in Allen Steele’s Coyote series, 2004’s “Coyote Rising.”

We’re eight pages from the end of this 382-page science fiction novel. The outnumbered space colonists have managed to defeat and ship home the invading earth army that tried to impose communism on the planet Coyote. Guerrilla leader-turned-president Carlos Montero walks the streets during the fireworks celebration of the first “First Landing Day” since the successful revolution, musing to himself:

“How far they’d come. Clean streets, no more trash along the sides of the road. … A long row of wind turbines just outside Shuttlefield providing electrical power to everyone. A new infirmary, with free medical care guaranteed for all. A schoolhouse was going up soon. …”

Is it unfair for me to pick on Mr. Steele? His “Coyote” series is diverting, reasonably action packed, filled with interesting characters. Presumably economic and political rigor are not high on the list of what makes for popular science fiction, these days.

So I was willing to overlook Mr. Steele’s pathetic if trendy hysteria over earth becoming virtually uninhabitable a few decades from now due to “global warming,” as well as the clever notion that a Dixie-based fascist dictatorship will soon arise in America under an outfit called the “Liberty Party” which will give its space ships names like “the Jesse Helms” and “The Newt Gingrich,” from an author whose characters repeatedly “shove a cartridge” into their rifles and then race outside to cut down enemy soldiers with three-shot bursts.

(In other words, Mr. Steele uses the word “cartridge” when he means “magazine,” at least three times, while often telegraphing that minor characters are bad people because they choose to carry guns … on a planet crawling with predatory six-foot flightless birds that can and will rip off your head in seconds. Mr. Steele decided to write a book featuring lots of gunplay without asking anyone what you call that removable box-shaped thing that carries those little cylinders of brass and lead.)

Author Steele does have a partial excuse. Mr. Steele lives in Massachusetts, where Gov. Mitt Romney signed a “permanent” ban on semi-automatic so-called “assault weapons” on July 1, 2004 (the year the book in question was published) saying “Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction for the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”

Like redcoats? I believe General Gage told the residents of Lexington and Concord pretty much the same thing about arms of military usefulness in 1775. And neither the 2nd nor the Fourteenth Amendment mentions “recreation,” the operative phrase being “the security of a free state.” The only thing Mr. Romney failed to do to really get his point across during that signing ceremony was to unzip his fly and pee on the Capitol statue of the Minuteman.

It wasn’t the first time. When Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah residents who had jumped through every hoop to acquire a concealed-weapon permit found they were not allowed carry their self-defense weapons at Mitt’s big United Nations Winter Games, because that might “frighten the foreigners” … despite the terrorist murders at the 1972 Munich games which were a direct result of the suicidal victim disarmament policies in place there.

But back to Allen Steele’s “Coyote Rising.”

Let’s also leave aside the windmills — one of the most inefficient means of power generation known to man, often using up all the power they can generate just to re-orient and de-ice their own hawk-slicing blades, which if operated without quick-starting natural-gas back-up cause endless blackouts whenever the wind stops blowing (and that’s with sophisticated materials technology — Mr. Steele imagines his windmills made by primitive off-world settlers entirely of WOOD.)

But I draw the line when an author who just spent an entire book portraying the evils of slave-driving collectivism, and a victory over same by wily and courageous freedom fighters, ends up by telling me the victorious freedom-fighters have just set up “a new infirmary, with free medical care guaranteed for all.”

How would “free medical care” work, exactly? You have a condition requiring visits to the doctor on a weekly basis. Over the period of a few weeks, you notice every time you go to see the doc for some follow-up medicine, she’s growing weaker, more frail. Finally, when you go back the third or fourth time, you find her lying cold and still in her office. Since the medical care was “free,” no one was paying her and she died of starvation.

Is that what anyone means when they refer to “free medical care guaranteed for all”? Of course not. Nor would a frontier planet have any large organized charity or single philanthropist capable of funding such an enterprise.

No, Mr. Steele’s victorious “freedom-fighter” must, inevitably, mean that everyone within reach would be TAXED to fund this “free” medical care, probably with those who work hardest and save up the most being taxed most heavily.

There will always be some treatments and medicines so costly and hard to acquire that they can’t be provided to all who want them. The best solution is rationing by price. Consider a couple who are tempted to sweep the supermarket shelves of bottled water at 99 cents a gallon, because they heard a storm was coming and they got to the store first. Ten minutes later a couple arrive with a baby who will die without formula, for which they need two or three gallons of pure water. Sorry; sold out.

But if a “greedy” store-keeper had jacked up his price to $20 a gallon, the first pair of discretionary buyers would probably have settled for the four gallons they’re likely to really need, leaving plenty for the couple who would happily pay the higher price to save their infant.

Rationing by price delivers rare commodities to those who value them most highly, while teaching the young that there are proper rewards for those who work hard, prioritize, save for a rainy day.

Socialized medicine is socialism, collectivism, communism. It drives the best people out of the profession, makes fools of those who work hard and set aside for the future, substituting government rationing by “need,” which leads inevitably to mob scenes, which can only be thinned out only by death panels. Schemes like Romneycare and Obamacare just take us closer to the Soviet model by small steps. That’s what they’re DESIGNED to do. “I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal health care coverage,” Obama told the AFL-CIO in June, 2003.

If the Republicans aim to repeal Obamacare because it’s socialist, why have they never even tried to repeal Medicare and Medicaid, the huge steps towards total “one payer” socialism which have caused most of the problems that Romneycard/Obamacare pretends to solve?

Because they’re the two interchangeable branches of the big-government Republicrat Party.

And the huge highway signs as you drive into Massachusetts still say “Have a Gun, Go To Jail.”

10 Comments to “‘Free medical care guaranteed for all’”

  1. Michael Haggard Says:

    I live in Taiwan, a “democratic” nation with strong “hatred of Communism” in which there is nearly free healthcare guaranteed for all. (It is mandatory, costs about $100us a month to visit the doctor’s office for about $2 or the ER for about $25 including all meds, X-rays, and tests).

    The system is falling. Not only to math… but to human nature. Now if one gets the slightest tick, itch, sneeze, blues, or heebie Jeebies… you go to the doctor. Doctors make little money so they must make it up in volume and the nation is happy to provide. A typical clinic doctor will see upwards of 200 people a day in his office. Three questions, barely gives a physical exam, sends you off with meds. A great deal of illness is missed or misdiagnosed. Under the controls, even if a Doctor is right about your illness and knows the tests will be useless and wants to go right to the treatment… he has to go through the tests first to rule out what he knows you don’t have. Many doctors have lost skills by simply running people through the line. Some are even fearful of having to really WORK at diagnosis. Heaven forbid a foreigner like me comes in with some of his own knowledge of health and medicine. One doctor immediately informed me that there was nothing he could do for me. I should go to America, he said. Another told me that my kidney stones are not serious and that no medical studies have found them to cause pain or complications in patients. I must be a hypochondriac, he claimed. Took four years to find a doctor here willing to surgically remove my 4cm kidney stone… while others said it was untreatable. My good doctor informed me that those others were just unsure of they ability and wanted only the line of yes/no questions because that is where the money is… in volume.

    So a libertarian republic CAN NOT offer free medical to all not only from an economic standpoint, nor just a moral/ethical view, but also from human nature understanding. When it is free, it is without value and no effort needs to be made to conserve it. People will forget how to use their common sense to care for themselves and depend on the free service until its workers break under the strain of poor compensation in both money and personal free time to relax and fulfill their own pursuit of happiness.

  2. Steve Says:

    ‘…pathetic if trendy hysteria over earth becoming virtually uninhabitable a few decades from now due to “global warming,”…’

    Vin, since you took the opportunity in an otherwise excellent and engaging essay to have a(nother) dig at climate change, can you absolutely guarantee that anthropogenically-driven global warming is a myth?

    Can you confirm that CO2 is not in fact a greenhouse gas?

    Can you be sure that the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere by human activity will have no or negligible effect?

    Can you confirm that the net increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is not due to the combined human activities of increasing CO2 output while simultaneously reducing natural CO2 sinks?

    Can you confirm whether or not oceanic sequestration of CO2 is decreasing, especially as oceanic acidity continues to increase?

  3. Bernardo Says:

    Steve, just a refresher on how science works:

    “Consensus” is worth precisely nothing.
    You form the postulate, you bring the proof. The onus is yours, not the reverse.

    Massive amounts of research time and money have produced nothing but weak corollary suggestions that establish no causation. I claim that the absence of proof is cause for dismissal of your posits.

  4. Scott Says:

    >Can you be sure that the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere by human activity will have no or negligible effect?

    You can’t prove a negative. The onus is not on skeptics to disprove the warmists’ case, but on the warmists to prove theirs. That the warmists have failed to do so with an acceptable degree of scientific rigor and have chosen to resort to slander and libel to bully people into going along with them says much about the likely veracity of their claims, and what it says isn’t particularly good.

  5. emdfl Says:

    1. umm, yes, actually it doesn’t even rise to the level of “myth”.
    2. umm, yes, try living without it.
    3. umm, yes, vocanic erruptions.
    4. umm, yes, see # 2.
    5. umm, yes, no ACTUAL SCIENTIFIC evidence.

    Now go back and get the latest bs from your eco-commies and try again.

  6. Steve Says:

    Although you’ve provided no proof whatsoever of any of your answers, at least one of them demonstrates that you are scientifically illiterate.

    “2. umm, yes, try living without it.”

    The reason we can’t live without it is BECAUSE it’s a greenhouse gas. Without it in the atmosphere the earth would be very cold.

    Now keep adding it: the temperature increases. How much? I don’t know and neither do you, but you can’t possibly say the effect is ZERO.

    As a bonus, although you don’t deserve it, in answer to 3 and apparently 4, human CO2 emissions are more than 100 times greater than volcanic CO2 emissions in the present era. I don’t see how vulcanism can have the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 if human activities don’t.

    And finally, #5: CO2 is absorbed by seawater. Do you actually believe the ability of the oceans to absorb this is infinite? Of course it isn’t, and the more it absorbs, the higher its acidity. Acidic seawater doesn’t absorb as much CO2 because it’s already saturated.

    Anyway, I’m very curious where you went to school. At which university did you obtain your PhD and what is your field of study?

    3. Human emissions of CO2 are more

  7. Lava Says:

    The eco-paranoia cry of “Stop! you’re warming up the earth!” reminds me of a certain cartoon strip.

    The strip was Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts”. In one sequence, Lucy orders people who are running or jumping rope: “Stop! you’re wearing down the earth!”

    Their solution to meat contamination is “Don’t eat it”. I once had a T shirt iron-on patch that said “Fight air pollution. Don’t breathe!”

  8. RegT Says:

    Good Lord, Steve, for someone who claims scientific knowledge you certainly are incredibly ignorant. We can’t live without CO2 because it regulates our respiration. Study a little human physiology before making these incredibly naive and ignorant statements, please.

    Every living thing which survives and grows via photosynthesis requires CO2 as well. No grass, no trees, no algae, no vegetation at all – including vegetables, if you happen to be some sort of vegan (which I will gladly assume due to your displayed ignorance of physiology).

    Save your made-up “statistics” for your equally-ignorant friends at your local Starbucks. They might believe them, but no one else does.

  9. Brian Sellnow Says:

    Thank you! I used to think I was the only one who understood what “Freedom” actually means, but now I don’t feel so alone. Keep it going – maybe you can educate enough people before it’s too late.

  10. Steve Says:

    RegT: are you being ironic or just deliberately trolling? I made no statements in my post about human physiology and fail to see what my understanding of human physiology has to do with what I said about atmospheric CO2.

    As for the statistic, while obviously I didn’t take the count myself, it doesn’t seem to be difficult to estimate how many cars and factories in the world are putting out CO2 and make a rough calculation as to quantity. Then we can do the same rough calculation for all the volcanoes and come up with two numbers (24 billion tons vs. 200 million tons p.a.). I assume, in my gross naivete, that this has been done before by people with more data and more knowledge of the subject than me – and hopefully you (USGS in this case).

    Finally, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for people on the one hand to claim that CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas (something emdfl did and judging from your own straw man it’s something I guess you agree with) and then try and say that volcanic eruptions cause more atmospheric warming through CO2 than human activities (which is also what emdfl did).