Aug 222009

Most of the time of a big fan of the folks at the Mises Institute. I’m also a big fan of agorist approaches to health care/insurance. However, I don’t think I can get behind Han’s-Hermann Hoppe’s “Four Step Healthcare Solution“. It lends itself too well to Margaret Sanger’s brand of eugenics.

“Because a person’s health, or lack of it, lies increasingly within his own control, many, if not most health risks, are actually uninsurable. ‘Insurance’ against risks whose likelihood an individual can systematically influence falls within that person’s own responsibility.


“To deregulate the industry means to restore it to unrestricted freedom of contract: to allow a health insurer to offer any contract whatsoever, to include or exclude any risk, and to discriminate among any groups of individuals. Uninsurable risks would lose coverage, the variety of insurance policies for the remaining coverage would increase, and price differentials would reflect genuine insurance risks. On average, prices would drastically fall. And the reform would restore individual responsibility in health care.

“Eliminate all subsidies to the sick or unhealthy. Subsidies create more of whatever is being subsidized. Subsidies for the ill and diseased promote carelessness, indigence, and dependency. If we eliminate such subsidies, we would strengthen the will to live healthy lives and to work for a living. In the first instance, that means abolishing Medicare and Medicaid.”

Yes, due to advances in medical science and technology, “a person’s health, or lack of it, lies increasingly within his own control”, but not all and not for everyone. What about those people whose health concerns lie outside of their control? What are we to do about those whose health is chronically poor, or  is likely to become poor, due to genetic predisposition or congenital defect, and whose medical expenses are likely to be very high over the courses of their lives? Should they be regarded as “uninsurable risks” and left unable to obtain life-saving/maintaining medical care at affordable prices?

Do I have to spell out how such policies could lead to eugenics? I’m all for free market solutions to health care problems, but surely we can do better than this.  Just because socialized medicine would likely be a nightmare doesn’t mean some free market solutions can’t also be.  Maybe the answer to caring for the congenitally and chronically ill isn’t insurance, but whatever the answer is I want to know it. Links to more compassionate libertarian/agorist health care policy recommendations would be greatly appreciated.