By the nature of man and existence, Objectivism holds that everyone has a right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. Objectivism holds that this principle applies to doctors and other healthcare providers just as fully as it does to everyone else. Since healthcare is man-made -- a product of human intelligence and initiative -- the first right of ownership of healthcare services rests with those who bring healthcare into the world and make it available to others through voluntary trading.
The analogy to postal services completely obfuscates these principles and diverts attention away from them, depicting healthcare, in effect, as something that merely "is," somehow, with no thought of what makes it possible, what it fundamentally depends on. The "power to establish post offices and post roads" was also written into the U.S. Constitution (Article I Section 8) from the start of our country, while providing healthcare thankfully was not. The fundamental issue isn't a disagreement over how "well run" an enterprise might be, but over whether or not government should be involved in enterprises like healthcare or postal services at all. (Objectivism regards both areas as outside the scope of the proper functions of government.)
If one seeks a further discussion of the philosophical issues surrounding individual rights, including property rights, there is ample material in the literature of Objectivism. If one seeks a further discussion of how those issues and principles apply to healthcare specifically, there are three main references that I can cite:
As for those who might still cling to the post office analogy, an Objectivist will need to assess whether or not such arguers are open to considering the deeper issues, or whether they are already committed irrevocably to a mystic-altruist-collectivist perspective and are merely using the post office analogy as a convenient concrete-bound diversion.
answered Oct 04 '13 at 01:15
Ideas for Life ♦