NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Drain the Health Care Swamp that's Awash in Other Peoples' Money

May 18, 2017

Senior Fellow Devon Herrick writes at NCPA's Health blog:

The 2017 winner of the Miss USA pageant ignited a firestorm on Twitter when she opined that nobody is entitled to thousands of dollars worth of free goods and services which they did not earn. The tempest in a teapot resulted when Kára McCullough said health care is a privilege, not a right. Her answer was far from perfect; she mentioned that to have health coverage you need to work.  

One could infer from her answer that she assumes the only way to get coverage is though a job. However, the fallacy that health benefits are a perk for having a job is just that -- a fallacy. Economists generally agree that health benefits are not free; they're a non-cash portion of employee compensation. That said, Ms. McCullough's answer was far better than the liberal pablum one would expect to hear from many young people her age. Many Coastal Millennials espouse the knee jerk idiocy that everyone has a "right" to health care.

Health care is not a right nor is it a privilege; it is a costly service. Health care consumes nearly 20 percent of our economy. Obamacare was premised on the notion society has an obligation to share health care risks and medical costs regardless of health status or ability to pay. After all, the penalty for violating the individual mandate is a "shared responsibility payment." Go figure: the one time Democrats back individual responsibility it's when there is a requirement to buy health plans that nobody would buy absent a subsidy or a coercive mandate. 

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