Ali Velshi: “Private prisons are a stupid amoral idea.” – And so is private healthcare.

Ali Velshi: "Private prisons are a stupid amoral idea." - And so is private healthcare.

Ali Velshi made it clear. Private prisons are a perverse incentive. The same applies to healthcare. It is tantamount to extortion for both.

Ali Velshi nails it

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Early in Ali Velshi’s piece, he said that private prisons are a stupid amoral idea. Later he made the case after pointing out that private prisons both more violent and more expensive.

“Last week I noted that there aren’t two sides to some issues,” said Ali Velshi. “And this is one of them. Private prisons should not exist. In economics, it’s what we call a perverse incentive. Private prisons thrive when there are lots of people incarcerated which is the opposite of what society’s goals are. Some Conservatives argue that anything the government can do the private sector can do better. In this case, the argument is nonsense as it relates to incarceration. We can and should do better. But we do not have to sustain a profit motive with private shareholders making money off of imprisoned Americans to achieve those goals. America as we have seen in the last eight months needs a complete overhaul of its justice system from policing to the judicial system to sentencing and rehabilitation. Ending private prisons won’t solve the problem but it is a start.”

This same argument must be applied to health care as well. If health care is for profit, then the perverse effect of increasing cost to enrich a few is inevitable. And there are several ways this is accomplished, creating new illnesses, oversubscribing drugs, over-testing, non-support for policies to keep Americans healthy, among many other techniques.

When Americans get sick or get into an accident, they do not choose to forgo or shop around for healthcare service. And if one has private insurance, a form of anti-slavery, one must seek permission from the master to decide which hospital they can use, what medicines they are allowed to take, and what doctor is allowed to see them.

Medicare for All with a well regulated pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers is the only answer.

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  • February 3, 2021
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