People As Houseplants: The Harvard View of Humanity


Every once in a while, I tune into the local lefty talk station to satiate my mild but persistent masochism. I made it through about ten minutes recently, including commercials. Somewhere in the mix I heard mention of a recent study conducted by advocates of a single-payer socialized healthcare system which claims that over 17,000 people will die unless states expand Medicaid.

Forbes does a decent job of debunking the Harvard/CUNY study. But I don’t need Forbes. I don’t even need to look at the study. I know the claim proves false on its face, because it defies objective reality.

Saying people will die unless states expand Medicaid is like saying your neighbor will starve unless you buy his lunch. It proceeds from a worldview which regards people as houseplants, wholly dependent on external care. My neighbor does not need me to feed him. He needs to obtain food to feed himself. Indeed, if my neighbor needs me to feed him, it can be said that I need him to feed me, in which case we’re both right back were we started.

You know who will die unless they are fed? Prisoners.

Prisoners need to be fed, because they lack the freedom to pursue sustenance on their own. Perhaps that lends some credibility to the study’s claim. Since our healthcare system makes it impossible for people to seek care in a market driven by individual judgment, we just might need the slop doled out by the state.