“There is little doubt that the growth of health insurance is a desirable development. And perhaps there is also a case for making it compulsory since many who could thus provide for themselves might otherwise become a public charge. But there are strong arguments against a single scheme for state insurance; there seems to be an overwhelming case against a free health service for all.” — F. A. Hayek.
Hayek wrote this on page 298 of his magnum opus, The Constitution of Liberty (1960). We could put this another way.
This isn’t about putting government in charge of your health insurance; it’s about putting you in charge of your health insurance. Under the reforms we seek, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.
These words may sound familiar. They are from President Obama’s 2009 speech calling on Congress to pass ObamaCare.
But if Hayek was willing to surrender the moral case against ObamaCare, what about the welfare state in general? Hayek favored this surrender.
In the Western world some provision for those threatened by the extremes of indigence or starvation due to circumstances beyond their control has long been accepted as a duty of the community. . . . The necessity of some such arrangement in an industrial society is unquestioned — be it only in the interest of those who require protection against acts of desperation on the part of the needy.
These are the opening words of chapter 19, “Social Security.” He spelled out the implications of this position on the next page.
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