DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S:
Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath invites you down to his clinic for an inoculation against this week’s stories and headlines on issues affecting our freedom.
This week: The country’s biggest drug dealer
- DOMPOST: “Pharmac: The Politics of Playing God” – A 25 year old school teacher is able to access “free” treatment with a medicine that actually costs taxpayers $160 a day.
No-one would deny Sam Forward the opportunity to purchase treatment for his chronic myeloid leukemia. But the devious manner in which the State’s legalised drug broker – Pharmac - acts as the arbiter of funding for expensive medical treatment, in this case choosing to sponsor Sam’s medication (Glivec or imatinib) makes my skin crawl.
Sam, by the way, could have taken out a loan to fund the cost of this treatment. His family and friends could have chipped in; he could have fund-raised, relying on the uncoerced benevolence of others. That would have been asking nicely.
This news article demonstrates a certain naivety on the part of its writer, one Nikki Macdonald. She states that Sam “doesn’t pay a cent of [Glivec’s] cost.”
Oh yes he does. Everyone does. Certainly every taxpayer does. Who doesn’t pay the National Socialist Party’s 15% GST? Sam is earning a salary, and so the IRD – like a Mafia protection racket - will be taking its cut. If Sam earns $50,000 then somewhere around $1,800 is stolen to fund the State’s bureaucratic health leviathan, including the Pharmac empire.
That’s $1,800 Sam could have used to fund health insurance. (Sam also has to fork out $3,000 to pay doped-up uneducated degenerates to breed on the DPB; to pay able-bodied youths to sleep in because the state would rather they earned $5 an hour doing nothing than $12 an hour doing productive work; and to fund the state pension Ponzi scheme until its inevitable collapse).
The rest of us are also taxed to pay for Sam’s treatment, and for the treatment of others on whom Pharmac bestows its “charity.”
The existence of Pharmac is a symptom of government interference in the health and pharmaceutical industries. Its “aggressive pricing policies” are an indication of how powerful government monopolies are, when competition is outlawed and the State has the sandpit all to itself.
The writer tells us that Pharmac (the Pharmaceutical Management Agency) was established in 1993 by the same National Socialist administration under Jim Bolger that was also responsible for the execrable Resource Management Abomination. Yep, that’s the National Socialist Party that believes in personal responsibility, competitive enterprise (yeah right) and limited government (pass me a bucket).
There is no reason why the sort of analysis undertaken by the doctors and pharmacists that Pharmac bankrolls couldn’t be undertaken in the private sector. But that would mean deregulating the medical and pharmaceutical industries—and the National Socialists aren’t willing to do that. They prefer instead to keep a battalion of state servants warming office seats, feeling important as they disburse money to the poor serfs who earned it in the first place, and clipping the ticket on the way.
I saw Dr Peter Moodie, medical director of Pharmac, at a GP conference in Rotorua last weekend. I paid my own way at that conference Peter; I hope the taxpayer didn’t pay for your attendance there, but I’m damn sure she did.
There has got to be a better way than giving Pharmac all this money and power – and there is. The government should stop stealing money from people’s pay packets, just because it thinks it knows better how to spend that money. Let people plan for their health needs themselves, according to what they can afford. Allow them to spend that $1800 or thereabouts making their own arrangements. This would encourage people to take better care of themselves and to work hard and earn more money so they could afford a more comprehensive insurance or savings package to cover health catastrophes.
The stories that Pharmac and its lackeys in the press don’t tell you are the ones about the people who take care of themselves, save hard and make provision for health emergencies, and don’t suffer lifestyle-related cancers or early heart disease and thus don’t need Pharmac’s help. The thousands of dollars these people are forced to fork out to prop up Pharmac could have been spent by these people supporting their own families. Instead of which the money is removed from them before they can see how much has been lifted from their wallets, after which they lose all control over how it’s spent.
The “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” credo gave us the blood-soaked legacy of communism. Its spirit lives on in Pharmac, and in every similar government ant farm endorsed by both the Labour and the National Socialists.
The only opposition to the red/blue socialist tag-team and its enviro-loony/race-card/Winston-demagogue collectivist-populist soulmates are the Libertarianz Party and, to a lesser extent, the ACT Party (which I am hoping Don Brash can revitalize after years of neglect by - and infighting under - Rodney Hide).
Let me stress this: John Key’s National Socialists have no intention of dismantling the massive Nanny State that Aunty Helen built up over many years. They lack the spine and the will to do so. Sure they tinker around the edges but that is just for appearances. Their agenda is the usual conservative one: don’t make significant changes or we might lose votes. Don’t frighten the horses. And for Christ’s sake, don’t rock the boat!
The Libertarianz Party would not only rock the boat, it would privatize it and allow other boats to compete. It would probably sell the boat to the highest bidder and use the funds raised to help pay off the massive debt that the Red and Blue Socialists have amassed over eighty or so years. It would stop “taxing” Sam, and you and I, and allow New Zealanders to keep their wealth. Give people the means and the incentive, and they will beat demons such as leukemia.
A system of taxing people into poverty and then handing back the loot in a haphazard fashion is not only immoral, but cruel and deceitful. It fools people into thinking that only government can solve people’s problems and that individuals are helpless dumb creatures, when in fact the opposite is true.
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
George Bernard Shaw
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