THE IDEAS AT WORK
Is There a Right to Health Care? by David Kelley
David explains why when government attempts to implement a right to health care, the result will be the abrogation of liberty rights.
A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State , by David Kelley (Cato Institute)
The welfare state rests on the assumption that people have rights to food, shelter, health care, retirement income, and other goods provided by the government. In this masterful monograph, David Kelley examines the historical origins of that assumption, and the rationale used to support it today.
Obama's Era of Responsibility by David Kelley (Summer 2009)
Obama is a communitarian, not an individualist. Communitarians hold that we are partly constituted by the unchosen relationships in which we find ourselves enmeshed. For the members of a community, writes philosopher Michael Sandel, “[C]ommunity describes not just what they have as fellow citizens but also what they are … not merely an attribute but a constituent of their identity.”...In its invocation of “brother’s keeper” altruism, Obama’s outlook is of a piece with modern welfare-state liberalism. So are many of his policy goals, such as a national health care system. Liberals, however, have previously focused mainly on expanding welfare rights to health care, education, housing, retirement benefits, and other goods. Even though such goods were to be provided by the state, they were cast as individual rights, things to which individuals are entitled. Communitarians distinguish themselves from liberals by arguing that welfare rights must be balanced by responsibilities to society.
The Fourth Revolution by David Kelley (September 2009)
The economic crisis, along with the election of Barack Obama, has revealed a huge pent-up demand for redistribution. Where does that demand come from? To answer that question in fundamental terms, we need to look back at the origins of capitalism and look more closely at the arguments for redistribution.
POLITICAL BACKGROUND AND CONSEQUENCES
The Problem with Obamacare by David Hogberg (June 2009)
While government efforts to improve quality of care might not tell patients which treatments to get, they will surely tell physicians which treatments they may provide. And early government efforts at improving quality and reducing costs have shown potential to harm patients. Health care reporter David Hogberg provided us with this early look at Obamacare.
Sidebar: What is "Comparative Effectiveness Research?"
It's a billion-dollar government initiative, but no one can agree on what the phrase means.
Sidebar: Into the Labyrinth
What happens when a doctor can't get to the bottom of a bureaucratic tangle?
Obamcare: Rx for Crisis by David Hogberg (March 7, 2012)
With the March 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ObamaCare”), the Big Hospital Lobby finally succeeded. ObamaCare prevents any physician-owned specialty hospitals (PSHs) built after 2010 from treating Medicare patients. Additionally, those PSHs already in existence will no longer be able to expand unless they jump through nearly insurmountable regulatory hoops.
By limiting the access that physician-owned specialty hospitals have to Medicare, the big hospitals, which are often bureaucratic, have protected themselves from smaller, quicker competition. In so doing, they have choked off a major source of efficiency and innovation in the health care system and limited patients’ options.
Sidebar: Behind the Scenes at a Physician-Owned Specialty Hospital
The physicians who started McBride wanted far greater control over the quality of care that the patient received. “When you invest in yourself, it incentivizes you to work hard,” explains Dr. Thomas Tkach
Sidebar: Institutionalized Inefficiency: Behind the Scenes at a General Hospital
The patient has waited nearly eleven hours to have a piece of skin the size of a dime removed from her shin. Waiting increases the risk of infection. “The problem is that no one is accountable in the operating room," explains Dr. Eric Logan.
It's Not About Contraceptives by Dr. Jane Orient (March 12, 2011)
"In the furor over requiring employer-sponsored health insurance to cover contraceptives, access to birth control is not the issue, and religious freedom is only part of the picture," writes Orient.
Video interview: The Supreme Court decision on Obamacare (July 1, 2013)
Atlas Society founder David Kelley is interviewed by Jan Helfeld about the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare
The Inherent Individualism of Insurance by Stephen A. Moses (November 2002)
What is insurance and why do we need it? This classic resource is by the president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. The Center promotes universal access to top-quality long-term care by encouraging private financing and discouraging welfare financing of long-term care for most Americans.
FOUNDATIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
Political controversies and protests are often dominated by the theme of rights. People disagree vehemently about who has a right to what. And they disagree as to whether there is a "right" to health care. How can we make sense of these competing claims?
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