Yours truly got an article published at AT.
You can read it at the American Thinker website. It actually started as an answer to a question. Which was essentially: Barring cost as a separately debatable topic, why not socialize the delivery of health care? The government already provides a number of critical services, such as fire departments, police and national defense. Why not socialize health care?
By constraining my response to not include a discussion of cost, I was actually able to focus on a number of social and philosophical reasons why it is a bad idea. My answer below.
Healthcare is a personal service, not a group service such as National Defense, Law Enforcement, and Fire Suppression. Each of those entities do not serve the individual, they serve the community as a whole. The police are under no obligation to protect you personally; if you need that, you need to hire someone. Fire departments suppress fire for the good of the area; if your building needs to be sacrificed so be it. Should you need better protection, again, you need to have your own equipment and staff. The Armed Forces? Well, 9/11 should tell you that even with their protection from foreign threats you are far from personally protected from harm. And should an armed force actually fight on US soil, you would find quite quickly, the fight is not about protecting you personally or your personal property, but protecting the freedom and sovereignty of the US as a whole.
Health Care as a group service is the horrifying tale where the individual becomes subservient to the greatest good of the state, just as in the above examples. The vexing problem with a socialist system for distributing health care is twofold. First each of us, should we not be killed suddenly, will reach a point in our lives where the health care we need to continue to live is either too costly, or does not yet exist. This establishes the paradox of an impossible question.
Philosophically the health care we need to survive cannot be a right if we all must face not having it and dying. The follow on part of that thinking then establishes a question, in the case where cost is the limiting factor: who determines if the care is too costly?
This is the second aspect of the problem. In the socialized system, eventually, someplace, somewhere, sometime, a government representative apathetic to your individual fight for life, will with a rigid budget and rules, make the decision that your life is no longer worth the peoples' effort to support it.
You will argue that private insurers make that call all the time, that statement while having the color of truth is completely false. Who decides what insurance to buy? I do. And in doing so I decide what is covered and what is not, and what limits if any are on the care provided. So the level, scope, and cost of my plan are completely at my disposal. So if I reach a point in my own care that lies outside my coverage, I can look only at myself and the agreements I made. But all is still not lost even in this case, should I decide the cost is worth it, and my assets sufficient, I can personally fund the care. Or I can make the decision to stop, if I decide the inevitable was upon my doorstep. See all of those 'I's in private care?
That is one true dread of socialized medicine. It robs the impossible question of the only humanity that can be offered, that it be I or my family, those most impacted, those emotionally vested, and those that must bear the cost, who make the decision of when to stop. I fear that decision to be made by the apathetic government bureaucrat, regardless of qualification. Again robbing from the most merciless point in life the comfort of choosing my own fate.
We walk this Earth not as ants with collective minds set to one purpose, but as conscious individuals, each physically, emotionally and mentally unique, with unique dreams and plans. The one size fits all egalitarian approach to medicine is itself a poison to this uniqueness, pretending that every life can have the question of physical care answered with one set of rules. It places within the providence of government the care of the individual's body, giving the former complete jurisdiction over the latter. If you accept the government has such juris dicta to speak what parts of your body might receive replacement or healing care, you must accept that your body is no longer your belonging, and also be ready to accept your caretakers instructions on how you might use the vessel they maintain. What foods you are allowed to eat, what activities you may participate, and for the utterly unscrupulous government what you may say and think.
No egalitarian goal of more equal distribution of care (note I will not say equal, because elitists will always have care far and beyond that of the peons beneath) is worth robbing health care of its humanity and individuality, a mirror of the humans it serves, as care of the mortal coil should be, personal and private.