Winters Express columnist Edmund Lis (What’s The Point?) is in the midst of several columns on the breakdown of society and thinks a left-leaning compromise between socialism and capitalism by our political leaders might work.
No personal offense to Lis, but we’ve got to get out of America’s Wasteland of “as usual” leadership and awareness. His main stated worry of income disparity is being solved by globalization. The world has never been in a better place; billions of people in India and China alone have been lifted out of abject poverty. Unfettered free markets would bounce the whole world this way.
Regarding Lis’ health access concerns, I’m responding as someone who understands the impossibility of dealing with the ruin of unaware power-hungry politicians taking over and making decisions that should be reserved for the caregivers and the patients in our country’s medical system. Our ruling politicians are traipsing through T. S. Elliot’s “Waste Land.”
“The adventure is always in the dark forest, and there’s something perilous about it. My impression is that many of my friends are baffled; they’re wandering in the Waste Land without any sense of where the water is — the source that makes things green.”
I was on the original California State Board (Sacramento Medical Care Foundation), which in 1965 was given the task of starting Medicaid in California, the Medical Politics Committee of the American Medical Association, the board that built Winters’ library, and the original board that started the Winters Health Care Foundation. I lectured in Australia to the Australian Medical Association and the British Medical Association on “California Medical Politics.”
I founded the Yolo County Medical Society’s Ethics Committee. I have been a teacher in my specialty of hand surgery at universities and hospitals in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America and Russia. I was Assistant Clinical Professor at UCD Medical School for 40 years. After the Berlin Wall came down, I lectured on Freedom Concepts to universities in Hungary, the old Czechoslovakia, Romania and Russia.
Many of the foregoing countries have socialized medicine to one degree or another, but after all of this experience, my opinion remains steadfast: Less is more when it comes to central government control of healthcare.
Looking back on my own practice starting in 1965, in Yolo County there was no rift in the social net for healthcare like there is today. At that time, all of the bigger counties had county hospitals and all of the physicians were happy to provide inexpensive or free medical care. We were not burdened with and twisted by huge malpractice premiums, government over-regulation, and lack of respect. Costs were absorbed by the county and the treating physicians, who were happy to help those who couldn’t afford other healthcare access.
In my own case, I donated one half-day per week to the county for indigent outpatient clinical care and surgical treatment. The county was able to take care of all of their medical needs.
There are some lessons to be learned from that era, and its focus on local political and voluntary community goodwill efforts, and protection of the providers.
My sense now is that we have to pay attention to writers and thinkers like the great historian and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead, the versatile science fiction writer Ray Bradbury and Joseph Campbell’s sense of humanity (“The power of myth”). For ethical considerations, there is none better than the intellectual teachings of politics and human freedom by economist Murray Rothbard.
Whitehead: “The intercourse between individuals and between social groups takes one of these two forms: force or persuasion. Commerce is the great example of intercourse by way of persuasion. War, slavery, and governmental compulsion exemplify the reign of force.”
Bradbury: “Optimism leads us to optimal living”
Campbell: “What it’s all about is that we need rhapsody in our lives.”
Rothbard: To better understand his depth, check him out on Google. He focuses on private property, which includes one’s own life, as that which must be honored and protected. He also emphasizes honoring contracts (we must do what we say we will do), these two principles the pillars of the old British Common Law.
Rothbard explains, “In the broadest and longest run sense, freedom will win eventually because it and only it is compatible with the nature of man and the nature of the world. Only liberty can achieve man’s prosperity, fulfillment and happiness.”
Edmond Lis — you take it from here, then we will have a discussion!