To The Editor: In response to the Physicians'
Working Group for Single-Payer National Health Insurance,1 I
believe that the elimination of private health care would be objectionable
in principle. In a free society, the government should not interfere with
private transactions for lawful goods and services. If patients want to pay
me twice the going rate for a visit or a procedure because they think I am
worth it, they should be allowed to do so. Physicians who are better trained
or who work harder than their peers should be rewarded with more money if
they wish. It is disingenuous to pretend that medicine, alone among all human
endeavors, will be free of economic incentives.
Proposals for US National Health Insurance. JAMA. 2003;290(21):2797. doi:10.1001/jama.290.21.2798-a