As the campaign for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District enters its final months, I’d like to draw attention to Madison Cawthorn’s position on health care reform.
According to his campaign website, Cawthorn is positioning himself as a proponent of patient choice and the free market. He states, “We turn patients into shoppers and equip them with buying. Reform creates choices it doesn’t take them away.” Notwithstanding the errors in punctuation and grammar, the real problem with his position is its lack of policy prescription and substance. He rehashes tired vagaries reminiscent of former Rep. Mark Meadows’ time in office, when the opening salvo to any argument was an unabashed support of the free market.
However, the free market does not always work in health care. It’s a problem that health care economists refer to as market failure. Basically, health care is not a normal commodity. It’s not a truck or a T-shirt or a pizza. You can buy a pizza — or not — it’s truly your choice. But if you’re having a heart attack, you don’t have a choice about health care. You go to the nearest hospital. If you want to live, there is no price you will not pay to live.
—William M. Hite BSN, RN-BC, Waynesville