When I say that the introduction of single-payer healthcare would not lead to the en – or even a significant reduction in – the circumcision of infant males in the United States, I do not hope I’m right. But I still see no reason to think I’m wrong. My analysis includes the evidence that countries with nationalized healthcare don’t pay for ritual/cultural circumcision. I also understand that claiming any particular market is somehow different is dangerous. But it’s quite clear that Americans have an irrational affinity for cutting the genitals of male children. That is a political rather than economic factor in this debate. Our politicians have never shown an ability to say “no” when confronted with a choice of excessive spending or the potential loss of votes. Wrap in religion and it’s a perfect combination for everyone to ignore facts (and the child).
There is one fact in the above narrative that is not accurate. If you’ve guessed that countries with nationalized healhtcare pay for ritual circumcision, congratulations, you understand politics at the expense of economics. From England:
… medical opinion has swung against it, and the procedure is now mainly carried out here for religious reasons.
As such, according to NHS guidelines, it should only be carried out, and paid for, privately.
But an investigation by More4 News has found an increasing number of health trusts are bowing to pressure, and offering circumcisions free on the NHS.
I’d normally embed the video here. I do not like the still image presented before the video plays. You can find it at the link above, or directly here.
Take note that no one in the report mentions what the boys might want. It’s a religious requirement for the parents to impose on their children. That’s enough for everyone to ignore the obvious questions beyond the cost, even though unnecessary circumcision is unjust, both morally and legally. But even in a culture like England that generally does not circumcise, mix the parents’ religion with an inability to pay and the state pays. America will be different how?
The bit about “unscrupulous circumcision practitioners” is particularly fascinating. The doctor interviewed in the beginning of the report operates in a glass house. No, he’s not a mechanic circumcising an infant with a soldering iron. Yet, he is a professional sworn to an oath placing the patient’s health as his first priority. As long as his child patients are healthy when he mutilates them, he is nothing more than an unscrupulous circumcision practitioner with training. The physical results may be less troublesome, but those children will still carry the mark of his criminal lack of ethics for the rest of their lives.
Post Script: I still detest the idea of single-payer healthcare because of the inevitable deterioration in health and care before we get to any discussion of rights.