Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Anti-Universal Coverage Club

You can count me in:

Here are the guiding principles of the Anti-Universal Coverage Club:

  1. Health policy should focus on making health care of ever-increasing quality available to an ever-increasing number of people.
  2. To achieve “universal coverage” would require either having the government provide health insurance to everyone or forcing everyone to buy it. Government provision is undesirable, because government does a poor job of improving quality or efficiency. Forcing people to get insurance would lead to a worse health-care system for everyone, because it would necessitate so much more government intervention.
  3. In a free country, people should have the right to refuse health insurance.
  4. If governments must subsidize those who cannot afford medical care, they should be free to experiment with different types of subsidies (cash, vouchers, insurance, public clinics & hospitals, uncompensated care payments, etc.) and tax exemptions, rather than be forced by a policy of “universal coverage” to subsidize people via “insurance.”
If you are interested, head on over to Cato-at-Liberty and post something on your blog or e-mail Michael Cannon.

Disaster warning towers to resume construction in Thailand

....after having been put on hold after last year's military coup:

Work was suspended because the military-led government was worried it would swing opinion in favour of the deposed Thaksin administration.

Chairman Smith Dharmasarojana said the centre intended to install about 200 warning towers in the North, Northeast and Central regions and along the Thai Gulf. It had already installed 99 towers in six provinces. The towers are equipped with sirens which can be heard up to 1.5km away and will give warning of any natural disaster, not just a tsunami.

Via Bangkok Pundit, who notes:

Yeah, because avoiding a repeat of a disaster where thousands of people
died must always be secondary to the government's goal of making Thaksin look bad.

Sad to see that we're not the only ones where political considerations by those in power take precedent over what might be good for the public.