Friday, March 26, 2010

My Latest Letter to the NY Times

From: Patrick Barron
To: NY Times
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 1:55 PM
Subject: Don't Dismiss Health Care Bill's Opponents

Re: "The Fight Is Over, the Myths Remain", by Brendan Nyhan

and "Brave New Health Care World", by Gail Collins

Dear Sirs:
In their defense of the health care law, Mr. Nyhan and Ms. Collins just will not recognize that there are any principled objections to this new government intervention into our lives or that there are any substantive concerns about its adverse consequences. Mr. Nyhan dismisses as "myth" the objection that the law is socialistic; he treats all such concerns as mere public relations problems. Ms. Collins portrays the Republicans' last ditch procedural efforts to delay the law's passage as "insane" and "loopy". (Maybe these are pre-existing conditions that Ms. Collins says will be "the coolest spring accessory"). But neither writer is willing to face the many legitimate patient concerns honestly and forthrightly. For example, it is a serious issue if someone besides my doctor or myself is making decisions about my care, which may mean whether I live or die. There is too much empirical evidence to suggest that citizens in countries with decades' experience with national health care do, in fact, have higher death rates from treatable illnesses as a result of rationed care. These questions deserve more adult response than the shallow answers by Mr. Nyhan and Ms. Collins.

Patrick Barron
Adjunct Instructor in Austrian Economics
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

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