Thank you to Steve Schow of Lakewood for writing this excellent letter in response to commentary against Amendment 63 by Bob Semro of the Bell Policy Center. The Denver Post published it on October 10:
Bob Semro is worried that Amendment 63 will not foster new and innovative ideas in health care. He states that “real and meaningful innovation arises from a deliberate process that involves many stakeholders who then reach broad consensus.” This is demonstrably false, and represents what Thomas Sowell has called “the conceit of the anointed.”
Intelligent men and women in power believe that nothing good can come from sometimes-chaotic market processes. Did a government panel commission Bill Gates to revolutionize personal computing? Did the creators of MySpace and Facebook sit down to discuss whose idea was better and then only implement the winner? More on topic, which politician decided that we should be able to purchase 30-day supplies of generic prescriptions for only $4? Rather than reach consensus before implementing the idea, one retailer took the lead. Only after the risk proved to be a wild success did others follow.
Small, incremental changes have done more for innovation than any blue-ribbon commission ever has.
With the “conceit of the anointed,” I think Steve is referring to the ideas in Thomas Sowell’s excellent book, The Vision of the Anointed. Here’s a review of the book published in the Independent Review. He might also be referring to what F.A. Hayek calls the fatal conceit, which is the title of one of his books.
My response to Bob Semro’s piece is at the Huffington Post: Colorado Amendment 63: Freedom Is Too “Haphazard” for Bell Policy Center.
Christine Dice’s letter published in the same day is also good.
I’m not sure of the statistic she mentions, an “estimated 70 percent of medical conditions are lifestyle-related.” There’s something to look up. In any case, an excerpt:
Non-catastrophic medical insurance is the problem; more of it cannot possibly be the solution. …
Once we are all compelled to purchase medical insurance, which in turn determines — by government directive — what medical treatment we will and will not receive, do we really suppose we’ll retain any choices affecting our own health? Since an estimated 70 percent of medical conditions are lifestyle-related, eventually those who maintain their health are sure to balk at subsidizing medical costs for those who don’t. Legal curbs on smoking, over-eating, over-drinking, and engaging in dangerous sports will be the inevitable result.
Christine addresses two important points. For articles on what real medical insurance should be:
- Insulation vs. Insurance, by Arnold Kling
- Cost-Sharing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, by John Goodman
For government-run medicine leading to nanny-state intrusions into your personal life, see “Universal healthcare and the waistline police” by Paul Hsieh, MD.