Venezuela! Who would have thought socialism would fail?
by J. Neil Schulman
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Remember the book and movie Moneyball, about how Oakland Athletics manager Billy Beane used a microbudget (compared to far-better-funded major-league baseball teams) to bring his team to the playoffs in 2002?
The U.S. Senate is about to debate a House Republican bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare.
Lobbyist TV spots I get here in Nevada are begging GOP Nevada Senator Dean Heller not to repeal Nevadans’ healthcare. The deception in these spots is the unstated communist-socialist-fascist assumption that without taxpayer funding paying for health insurance—and bureaucrats running it—there can’t be any healthcare.
Yet I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s—a time with far less robust medical treatments—when medical doctors made house calls and a hospital stay wasn’t that much more expensive than a hotel stay.
Sam Jaffe as Doctor Zorba on Ben Casey
Healthcare—before government and private insurers bid up the prices with Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-paid-for health insurance—was already affordable to ordinary people.
Cuba—because of its communist economy—has to be one of the poorest countries on earth. Yet because Cuban doctors and hospitals have so little money they have done what indie filmmakers do as compared to the big movie studios: innovate cheaply. Havana’s Center of Molecular Immunology has developed an anti-lung-cancer vaccine called CimaVax that treats both current and genetically likely patients.
My point is emphatically not that a low-budget approach to finding cures produces superior results to an approach with much more money. The visual effects of a $180 million movie are going to be far superior to the visual effects of a movie made for $200,000.
My point is that for people of limited means low-budget healthcare solutions should not be driven out of the marketplace and denied them.
Have you heard of Medical Tourism? Countries like Thailand, India, and Singapore have state-of-the-art hospitals and medical personnel offering surgeries and treatments at half off or less than the equivalent care sold in the United States—and without the rationing and life-threatening delays in countries with socialized medicine.
So while Republican senators debate the replacement of Obamacare only discussing how socialized medicine can be funded without further bankrupting the United States, returning healthcare to price-suppressing market competition isn’t even on the agenda.
If a doctor in Cuba or Thailand can “moneyball” medical treatments in those poorer countries, why can’t they do it here?
Create Medical Enterprise Zones in the United States—free from taxes, regulations, and other market impediments—where foreign doctors can provide treatment to Americans at the same discounted prices they do in their own countries to “medical tourists.”
Let Cuban doctors treat Americans with their breakthrough cures right here in America.
Why should foreigners not come here with their excellent but cheap healthcare to Make America Great Again?
J. Neil Schulman is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist, radio
personality, filmmaker, composer, and actor. His dozen books include
the novels Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza,
both of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus
Award for best libertarian novel, and the anthology Nasty, Brutish,
And Short Stories.
Read more about him.
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