Free Medicine is Not the Answer to Sustainable Change

Decision for Choosing Technology for IT Consulting 240x300The New York Times recently featured an article titled “When a Co-Pay Gets in the Way of Health,” in which the author brings up the age-old debate of how can we best provide affordable health care to citizens without the providers incurring losses. A debate that requires both sides to make trade-offs in a bid to lower costs. The article also mentions the attitudes of many people who opt for an extra test casually, just because it’s ‘free’. Just because it’s covered by their insurance policy.

This article doesn’t surprise me. The free handouts will not stop until we decide to stop ignoring the inconvenient truth that some people just lack any sense of personal responsibility. The original idea of a safety net was hard to argue against without seeming apathetic or cruel. The safety net has evolved to become people’s primary vehicle for retirement and everyday living, i.e. food stamps, cell phones and free insurance. It is really disheartening to see how far we have regressed as a society and people. What happened to diligence, personal accountability, and self-reliance? Self-reliance is now viewed as an excuse to not help someone in need and handouts have become the calling cards of those that “truly care”. On the contrary, those of us who understand its power know that self-reliance is the only way we will achieve the change we all so desperately seek.

In the words of the beloved President Kennedy, “To those people in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

In his 1961 inauguration, President Kennedy recognized that our country could abolish poverty but not by enabling those in poverty to remain impoverished. It was only through instituting “teaching a man to fish” ideals that sustainable prosperity and the abolishment of poverty could ever be possible.