Peter Schiff on healthcare – part 2

I came across the video below of Peter Schiff “interviewed” by Ed Schultz. This has to be one of the worst interviews I’ve seen. Schultz simply wasn’t interested in constructive questioning or dialog. It was clear Schultz entered the interview with the intent of shouting Peter down. This was annoying at best and disrespectful at worst but getting beyond that, Schiff brought up a point (between 7:07 and 7:18) that I’ve questioned before.

I want people who now get health insurance from their employers to get money – to get wages instead that are not taxed and they can make a decision if they want to buy healthcare or if they want to buy something else.

The problem I have with this is that it equates the need of health care with the desire for every other consumer product on the market. Schiff doesn’t seem to think that health care should be seen as any different than the production of cars or Frisbees. So let’s say that one chooses not to buy health insurance and their gamble doesn’t pay off. They get sick. A car salesman has no ethical obligation to sell someone a car when they’ve spent their dollars on something else. A toy store owner won’t feel a compassionate impulse to sell someone a Frisbee when they’ve spent their income on something else. Should doctors be put in a position to say, “Sorry about that cancer, buddy. Next time you should think about making better economic choices. I hope you’ve learned your lesson.”

Either I’m misunderstanding Peter’s proposal or his approach is void of any humanity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the free market. I just don’t see that the efficiency of the free market on its own can sufficiently meet essential human needs.

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4 Responses to “Peter Schiff on healthcare – part 2”

  1. Tom Says:

    You misunderstand his whole philosophy… He means… pay higher wages to the employees minus the healthcare… When regular working class people have to go looking for their own healthcare plans, prices would come crashing down to earth again… Healthcare companies would have to compete for your business… It would make healthcare better and less expensive in the long run… Then, everyone would have Affordable healthcare.. Look at the wireless electronics market for instance.. over the years cellphones and calling plans have come down in price because of stiff competition.. This is called the free market.. let the companies compete for your business.. overall service will be better, cheaper and innovation will come much faster when the profit motive is left intact.

    When the govt gets involved all you get is a higher tax bill and crappy service… Why? because bureaucracy is a parasite and a cancer to us all..

  2. Peter Says:

    You state that with Schiff’s approach “everyone would have affordable healthcare”. How so? How does making health care cheaper translate to “everyone” being able to get it? Perhaps more can get it but this is health care, not a video game console, a night out at the cinema, or a wireless electronics device.

    A health care system shouldn’t allow one to gamble their health by deciding to buy something else. If after one’s covered and they then choose (for whatever insane reason) to reject the care itself – then all the more power to them.

  3. Kent Says:

    Your frisbee example is flawed. Why can’t someone who can afford more than one frisbee and wants to see that person have one simply buy him one voluntarily. After all, charities were created by individuals who wanted to help others. They didn’t have to be forced by government to do it. Also, if you made a good profit and wanted to give a frisbee to others in need from time to time, what’s wrong with that.

    If the government decided that they were the ones to provide the frisbees by taking that money from the people that they otherwise could have donated to those charities you would see the funds misused and wasted. Sort of like the govt takes water from you to give to people in need of water but ends up spilling half of it on the floor so now there is less than would otherwise be given. That’s why health care is so expensive b/c you have the two-headed monster of govt and their special interests (Insurance, Drug Companies, etc.) getting in the middle of the producer and the consumer. You take the govt out and get people to pay “out-of-pocket” instead of through a 3rd party for routine procedures you will see prices fall. Many people who couldn’t afford it will now be able to and the people who could already afford it will have that much more to spend on other things, like charity.

  4. petrock Says:

    Has Schiff ever promoted universal (or at least, a public option) health care? If that’s his angle, he should make it obvious and I’d be on board. In that sense I agree, companies shouldn’t be paying for employee health care. Society (via government policy) would be a better route. However, I imagine he believes that basic health care should be taken care of by an invisible hand. I’d love for him to comment and correct me.

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