Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Schmitt Lecturer Yuval Levin on the Health Care Debate

Our fall semester Schmitt lecturer, Yuval Levin, today had a piece published on the Witherspoon Institute's Public Discourse web journal. He addresses the moral and practical issues of the health care debate, the subject of his lecture here coming up on December 7 at 4 p.m. in McKenna Hall, highlighting the social justice principle of subsidiarity. An excerpt:

"Of course, any system of health insurance has to involve decisions about what to cover and pay for—and, in that sense, what to ration. But an underappreciated virtue of the market is that it puts such decisions far closer to the ground, and so to the people involved. Allowing for a wide variety of insurance options means giving people more choices and more power, and therefore also allowing families far greater freedom to choose among treatment options with their doctors. Hard choices will still need to be made, but having more of them made by families and physicians with some power to choose is vastly better than having all of them made by distant bureaucrats with the power to impose.

Believing in equality does not mean pursuing one-size-fits-all public policies. On the contrary, central planning and command-and-control administration too often require a betrayal of equality. Public rationing is not private rationing writ large; it requires an explicit rejection of our most fundamental national premise. Enabling a private market—backed with subsidies to allow those with lesser means to choose among options for themselves—would not only avoid the economic inefficiencies of central planning; it would also reduce the moral enormities of public rationing."

Read the full article here.

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