A Modest Proposal

Hine.jpgFrom: Carthago Delenda

To: Mephistopheles, Cato Institute Health Policy Staff

Date: Oct. 10, 2007

Re: SCHIP Strategy Session

Momentum is building for our fight to change the health care system. But the recent veto of SCHIP has generated some public resistance. How are we going to reshape the debate? There’s one obvious answer: stop federal meddling and permit uninsured children to work for their health care.

Once upon a time, this country respected the age-old right of children to work. Our Supreme Court struck down federal child labor laws in Hammer v. Dagenhart in 1918, only to see that wisdom exiled in 1941 in U.S. v. Darby. Now is the time to fight Darby and to provide all children the opportunity to work for their health care.

In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, this proposal is a win-win for all concerned. Children get to choose between school and work, and can immediately contribute to national productivity. Also, they can buy the kind of health care they want–some will be able to economize with cheaper plans, while others will work harder to assure state-of-the-art care. The most productive will likely buy the best insurance, and that will help assure a cost-effective distribution of medical resources.

Some people will whine about the inevitable disparities that will arise, but we need to keep the focus on liberty, not socialistic fantasies like health security. We’ve done our best to reduce dependency and create an ownership society in America. An “ownership society means that you’re on your own” . . . right from the start.

Photo Credit: Lewis Hine, “Trapper Boy”.

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