Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

A Medical Hydraulic Empire

Posted by M. C. on May 4, 2022

By Charles Curley

Fran Van Cleave

 The United States’ health outcomes place us at either 18th or 30th in the world, depending on which study you look at.  Neither ranking is particularly glorious, especially considering that the US has the most expensive health care in the world. Our doctors are punished by insurance companies when they take extra time to look for causes rather than just treat symptoms. The end result is the equivalent of putting duct tape over the “check engine light.” Who wants to pay for that, even with a zero co-pay? Anyone?

Never let a good crisis go to waste. — Winston Churchill

In the headlong rush toward socialized medicine in America, all sorts of arguments have been made. Here’s one we haven’t heard, and we find it one of the most unsettling.

Wikipedia says, “A hydraulic empire (also known as a hydraulic despotism, or water monopoly empire) is a social or government structure which maintains power and control through exclusive control over access to water. It arises through the need for flood control and irrigation, which requires central coordination and a specialized bureaucracy.” But a hydraulic empire need not be based on water. It can be some other commodity precious to human life. Like medicine.

Larry Niven wrote a novel about a hydraulic empire based on vitamins, Destiny’s Road. (1998) It should scare the hell out of you.

What is socialized medicine but a hydraulic empire based on medicine?

When one of us first wrote about this on Facebook in 2018, the post foresaw Soviet style direct political intervention in the health care system. “Sorry, Comrade, no vitamins for you today. You shouldn’t buck the Party.” “Your surgery has been postponed, Comrade. Comrade O’Brien took sick, and the party needs him.” Or maybe Venezuelan style socialism.

But recent events show it doesn’t take Soviet style authoritarianism. All it takes is political correctness and Critical Race Theory (CRT) as now practiced by a country’s governing elite. Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), under a Conservative government, may deny health care to “Racist” or “Homophobic” patients. While racism apparently is a problem in British health care, denying health care simply because a patient is racist is the wrong (but oh-so-politically-correct) solution.

Oh, and they are also using it to enforce so-called “equity”. For example, New York will prioritize non-White people in the distribution of COVID-19 treatments in short supply. “Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”

Similarly, Minnesota now requires healthcare providers to provide non-white patients with preferential access to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). mAbs are used to treat and to avoid infections of COVID-19. Since the article was published, Minnesota has removed the specific mention of BPIOC in the scoring factors. Instead, as of January 12, 2022, providers are supposed to “Strive for fairness and protect against systematic unfairness and inequity. It’s anyone’s guess as to what that actually means and how it will be implemented. But worry not: Minnesota has a “Resource Library for Advancing Health Equity in Public Health”[]. Utah was apparently also following race-based guidelines in providing medical care for COVID-19 patients, and now both Utah and Minnesota are threatened with lawsuits from America First Legal, a conservative law firm founded by Stephen Miller.

In democratic Germany, rules banning adults unvaccinated for COVID from public places are being applied to the Bundestag, prohibiting citizens from participating in the national legislature. It also applies to MPs, thereby denying thousands of Germans their right to parliamentary representation. Now that the left-leaning Social Democrats (SDP) and Greens are in power (in a coalition with the liberal Free Democrats), the political target is clear: the right-wing Alternative for Germany party (AfD). The AfD has the largest number of unvaccinated MPs and has campaigned against vaccine mandates.

For some months now, patients on waiting lists for organ transplants have been ordered to get the COVID vaccine or be taken off the waiting list for the limited number of organs available, which usually means death when their own organs fail. Strangely, the fact that myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) is a known and listed side effect for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has not altered the demand by medical authorities that all patients must have the COVID vaccine in order to make them better transplant candidates.

See the rest here

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