Coming Between Your Doctor and Your Health Care

There’s lots of great stuff in this Ed Pilkington story about the dark side of free market health care (via Tomasky) but my favorite bit was this part:

Eventually his lack of motor control interfered with his work to the degree that he was forced to give up his practice. He fell instantly into a catch 22 that he had earlier seen entrap many of his own patients: no work, no health insurance, no treatment.

He remained uninsured and largely untreated for his progressively severe condition for the following 11 years. Blood tests that could have diagnosed him correctly were not done because he couldn’t afford the $200. Having lost his practice, he lost his mansion on the hill and now lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the suburbs. His Porsches have made way for bangers. Many times this erstwhile pillar of the medical establishment had to go without food in order to pay for basic medicines.

This is the kind of thing that makes it so hard for me to take seriously the idea that we can’t have the government give people health care because it might subject them to “rationing.” Depending on the details, it may or may not be correct to believe that any particular government program is being too stingy. But how does giving people nothing at all resolve that problem?