Are They All Orphans?
By Arnold Kling
I received some pushback on my latest health care essay, in which I argued that many of the people who are uninsured have made a choice and should live with the consequences. A reader pointed out that 9 million of the uninsured are children, and that they cannot be viewed as having made a choice to be uninsured.
But are those children all orphans? If not, then I think that their parents can be held responsible for paying for their health care. If the parents choose not to buy health insurance, then they may have to pay cash or take out a loan to pay for medical services.
Let me try to anticipate the next question: What if the parents decide to avoid sending their children for routine checkups and other necessary medical care? I am not sure about the best answer, but offering medical services at taxpayers’ expense is neither necessary nor sufficient to address the issue.
It strikes me that the advocates of expanding SCHIP, the Federal program that covers children, have successfully framed the issue as if the children were all orphans. This ought to go down as one of history’s finest achievements in demagoguery.