Well, Rudd and Abbott had their big healthcare debate, and it was all predictably rather boring. Most pundits (even Bolt) are awarding the “win” to Rudd, but I’d say it was closer to a draw (and slightly in Abbott’s favour if anything – to me, he just made more sense). The worm has come in for some criticism, and rightly so. Channel Nine’s worm was rating highly for Rudd even before he spoke, and went into negative territory when the camera switched to Abbott.

Online polls show mixed results, with The Age and SMH readers giving it to Rudd, and and The Australian giving it to Abbott. In the end, I don’t think the debate will change anyone’s vote.

This debate in Australia takes place 1 day after the US passed ObamaCare. John Stossel discusses the three worst ingredients of this horrible recipe on his blog.

The scary left

“As citizens we should all use the same health care system. Poor and rich should have access to the same health care services from teh same providers … the well-off and the poor should not have separate providers … All should share the one, high quality system.”

This is a very scary mentality. The authors of the above (McAuley and Menadue, quoted by Buckmaster) want to enforce total equality when it comes to health services. Note that their prioerity is not to improve health, but simply to make sure that it is always equal.

Enforced equality is so important to them, they repeat it four times in the same paragraph.

The above position is not simply an argument for government intervention in the health industry. And it is not an argument for improving the health care for poor people. Both of these are common and reasonable suggestions.

It goes far beyond that, and calls for the government to actually ban the purchase of extra health cover. The authoritarian policy suggestion of McAuley and Menadue would limit the amount of health cover that a person could buy to the government-approved level, with obvious negative consequences to health outcomes.

This policy cannot be defended on the basis of concern for poor people. The only defence for this policy is that the proponents simply want to hurt richer people and prevent them from buying extra health services. And the likely long run consequence would be worse health care for everybody.

Mostly when I disagree with people on the left I can sympathise with their goal, but disagree about their approach. In this instance though I think the thought process is offensive and dangerous.