Readers Write: Single-payer health an assault on humanity


I am writing this response to a letter written by Julia Appel, O.D. in the March 10, 2017 edition of the Roslyn Times.

Her letter was titled, “Time for single  payer in N.Y.:

Her letter demonstrated an appalling ignorance of both history and of the human condition in general.

To begin with, Ms. Appel states that “there was consensus among those gathered that health care is a human right.”

I can state absolutely and unequivocally that health care is not a human right.  This is best refuted if one understands what is meant by a “right.”

If you have a “right” to free speech, does that in any way interfere with someone else’s  right or ability to speak or not?

No. If you have a right to freedom of religion, does that stop anyone else from freely choosing their own religion, or none at all?

No. If you have a right to freedom of assembly, would that in any way infringe on anyone’s right to gather at such meetings as Ms. Appel attended?

No.  But when you say health care is a right, you are actually violating other people’s rights.  You are making a claim on the time, skills, and resources of doctors, nurses, pharmacologist, radiologists etc.

Sorry Ms. Appel, you do not have the right to coerce other people to do your bidding.

She then proceeds to say that “privatizing education, the criminal justice system and health care have been shown to not work.”

What a ridiculous comment.  It is a known fact that most private schools are superior to most public schools (that is why our politicians predominately send their children to private schools).

The private segment of our health care system (not Medicare or Medicaid) is the best in the world.

It has the best post- treatment results, the best post-surgical survival rates, the best timely diagnosis and treatment, and the most innovation of any other system.

Do not buy the lies regarding the British National Health Service or Canada’s health care.

When Canadian politicians and high -anking health care providers get seriously sick, they check into the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins right here in the United States.

What is so disconcerting here is that Ms. Appel is simply echoing what the Bolsheviks would have said about 100 years ago.

They were against the private ownership of the means of production.

In its stead, they wanted the government to be the owner and regulator.

They said to look at the advantages.  Businesses would not have to spend money on advertising against competition; there would be no duplication of costs by having each individual business needing to hire their own managers, their own secretaries, their own maintenance workers, etc.

They could eliminate the parasitical middlemen who cause products to be more expensive than need be.

Things would be so much more efficient.  They could just concentrate on making their products.

To tell you the truth, they made it sound so great that if I was running around the Russian pale a hundred years ago, I probably would have supported it myself.

Ms. Appel has much the same ideas.  “Employers would not have to administer health benefits, doctors would not have to deal with myriad health insurers, etc.”  She continues.  “Patients would not have to worry about access to providers and services.”

What?  The wait for treatment times in England and Canada are so long patients literally die before they get treatment.

She further continues.  “Eliminating the profit margins and all the middlemen would reduce costs and complexity.”

Said just like the old-time Bolsheviks, and just as naively.  I am not a slave, are you?  I am not a cog in the wheel of some bureaucrat’s view of the way the world should run.  I want to get ahead in the world, do you?  The way to do that is to give people good products and services for more than it costs to provide them in a free, competitive, exchange environment.

One-Hundred years of history has taught me, and should have taught Ms. Appel, that government ownership does not work.  It becomes rule by bureaucrats for the benefit of the bureaucrats with their own agendas.

Ms. Appel’s true Marxist colors are reflected when she says “Payment for the program would be linked to one’s income and ability to pay and doctors would provide services and be paid by the program.”   Sound familiar?  Marx said it before her.  “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.”

This is just another socialist redistributionist plan.

“Patients forgo treatment due to the cost.”

Do they spend money on other petty priorities like designer clothes or expensive cars and vacations?

What a great idea.

Let’s cater to people who want something for nothing.  That always works out.

There are ways to arrange for the treatment of the truly needy without resorting to coercion.  Charity does wonders.

Money is a great motivator.  I will demonstrate why.  I am a dentist.  We always dreamed of being able to implant teeth into the jaw bone.  We tried different materials, vitreous carbon, stainless steel, etc.  The body always rejected these materials as foreign bodies.  Then, in the 1980’s, an orthopedist in Sweden discovered, by accident, that his titanium implants in bone could not be removed.  For whatever reason, titanium is bio-inert, which means the human body does not recognize it as a foreign body; therefore, no rejection.  Well, once there is a research breakthrough regarding bone in orthopedics, dentists will hear about it by that afternoon.  While the Swedes made the initial discovery, once the Americans got hold of it, the innovations were astounding.  Great strides were made in implant design, surgical techniques, esthetics, and bone grafting.  Profits were the main contributor to this wellspring of ideas.

Medicaid is single payer.  The difference between Medicaid dentistry and private dentistry would make you think they were in two different centuries.

In Medicaid dentistry there is no innovation, little change.  They do not even cover implant procedures.

Bureaucrats decide what treatment is appropriate for you.  If all of dentistry was Medicaid, we would have much more primitive treatments available.

None of the impetus for breakthroughs in modern dentistry came from Medicaid dental practices.  They all came from the private sector.

Referring back to the 1970s, there was an expression spouted by the left.  “The East is red, the West is next.”

I should remind people of all the great new pharmaceuticals we now have on the market in the West.

During the 72 years of communism in Russia, they didn’t create one new drug.

If the West had indeed gone “red” in 1917, we would still have a 1917 medical system.

In closing, I must tell of the one big advantage Ms. Appel would have if she were to get her way.

People like me, who believe in human advancement and creativity, can never prove what could have been invented by a free system.

How can you blame someone for destroying something that never got a chance to exist in the first place?

Single payer is destructive and anti-human in all its aspects.

Like all socialist ideas, it treats humans as commodities.

We need single payer health care like we need single payer farming.

Dr. Wayne Roth

Roslyn Heights


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here