I’m worth mass redistribution. Or maybe it’s just my vote.

I’m a few days late on this, thanks to being wrapped up in fantasy football, but John Edwards cares about me.

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

“It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care,” he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. “If you are going to be in the system, you can’t choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK.”

“The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death,” he said.

If I’m going to be in the system… How quaint. Do I have a choice? If and when I choose not to be part of the system, do I get to keep that part of my taxes devoted to covering me, as well as the portion that is my charitable “gift” to everyone else in this scheme?

Obviously he wouldn’t emphasize the womb-to-tomb feature bug if the answer to any of my questions was yes. Also obvious is the basic fact that, being unable to understand that government is the problem in health care, his proposal relies on reducing everyone to a lower level rather than working on (effective) ways to enable the unintentionally uninsured minority to mitigate their financial risk. Note, of course, that Edwards – and every other health care nanny currently running for president – misses this true issue in his quest for womb-to-tomb government services. That won’t earn my vote.

More thoughts at A Stitch in Haste and Cato @ Liberty


I wouldn’t expect anyone else to have mentioned it, but a side issue from Edwards’ proposal involves routine infant male circumcision. As I’ve written, a liberal, progressive argument for universal health care and/or coverage is that the government will cease paying for unnecessary male circumcision. This will not stop.

Governments already fund unnecessary circumcisions today, when resources are limited. There is no significant push among politicians to redirect those funds into medically necessary expenditures (or taxpayer pockets). They do not care about the necessity of any particular intervention, or even health care in general. Universal health care is simply a means to create a new, dependent constituent group. If that constituency wants infant male circumcision, politicians will cover it. (I’d make an argument that bureaucrats will make the decisions, but doctors make the same mistake in an effort to please their constituents constituents’ parents.)

Politicians believe there is always another group to demonize and tax to fund whatever gift needs to be made to voters for their votes. I am unwilling to hope that any government run by these fools will miraculously reverse its stupidity. Such short-sighted adherence to self-interest is inherent in government whenever it’s controlled by those interested in the exercise of power. Neither rights nor logic plays any part.

Now add the context of a politician like Edwards who wants to mandate that you and I will undergo preventive care. Is it really a long leap to assume that such a stupid person could read the splashy headlines about male circumcision and HIV and ignore the context of voluntary and adult, as well as the truth that condoms remain far more effective at reducing the risk of HIV? Almost everyone in our culture has ignored these last three points in the two years since the first preliminary results were announced, so the answer is a clear “no”.

Politicians will continue to make the erroneous, incomplete argument that the cost-benefit analysis of infant male circumcision is a one-sided consideration, with benefits the only deciding factor. They rarely even recognize potential before the word benefit. If there’s a potential benefit to chase, they will assume that means one less disease to pay for out of the collective in the future. That is incomplete and morally defective, since it ignores the risks, the complications, and the rights interest of the child in making this subjective, medically unnecessary decision. That politicians, parents, and doctors make this error every day proves the fallacy of trusting in the economics of universal health care to rectify an ethical failing.

Should government miraculously reverse itself and stop funding infant circumcision, I still argue that this is largely irrelevant. Many parents will just pay for it themselves. I’ve read too many blog entries of parents fretting over the hundreds of dollars it will cost, yet, considering genital cutting either an “investment” in their son or a “necessary” expenditure so that the boy will be normal common, they proceed anyway, out of their own pockets. To be fair, there will be a long-term reduction, as fence-sitters will decide unnecessary surgery isn’t worth the money, but there will still be many boys facing the knife who should be protected. I’m not okay with that.

Anyway, who will make the argument that politicians embrace the individual rights of their children and refrain from removing healthy body parts from their own sons? I’ll theorize that at least one candidate running for president with a universal health care platform has ignored the violation of his¹ son’s rights and circumcised the boy, to say nothing of the members of the theoretical decision-making apparatus should a universal health care scheme be implemented.

¹ This ignores Sen. Clinton because I assume she did not have her daughter’s genitals cut. However, she should be included in any consideration of politicians and bureaucrats willing to perpetuate the violation of the genitals of male children.