Should American Healthcare Be Rationed?

Yes, it's a limited commodity, some say. Others worry that the most needy will be shut out.


Some say Americans use too much healthcare, that even if reform is achieved, universal access should not mean unlimited access. Tough choices must be made. Others worry that the most needy or least able to fight for themselves will be the ones left waiting, or dying.
Edited by Steve St. Angelo


No one can fail to be moved by heartbreaking stories of people suffering and unable to get

Michael Tanner

By Michael Tanner
Senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

healthcare they want or need. But compassion is a sentiment, not a policy.

We tend to talk about healthcare in the philosophically abstract. "Is healthcare a right or a privilege?" goes the refrain. In reality, it is neither. Healthcare is a commodity—and a finite one at that. There are only so many doctors, hospitals, and, most important, money to go around. After all, every dollar spent...



When people discuss "end-of-life care," they often invoke scenarios meant to

Laura Hershey

By Laura Hershey
National advocate for the rights of the handicapped

sound ominous: tubes, breathing machines, physical dependency. I'm not scared by those images, having lived for 46 years with increasing reliance on technological and human support. A ventilator aids my breathing. Personal care assistants bathe, dress, and feed me. I operate my wheelchair by blowing into a tube. And my life is far from over. Of course, none of us can know for sure, but I plan on being around for a while....


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