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Massachusetts law would turn doctors into serfs

Don Watkins
Voices for Reason, Ayn Rand Center
April 27, 2010

Throughout the health care debate, we have been arguing that the push for government control of health care is driven by a certain moral view: the view that need is a claim. That view is typically taken to be noble and benevolent, and one of Ayn Rand’s most controversial conclusions is that it is in fact vicious and unjust. Well, the latest proposal out of Massachusetts seems designed to prove Rand’s point.

Massachusetts, you probably know, passed a bill very similar to ObamaCare a few years back. Well, shocking news: the state is now hemorrhaging money. To stop the bleeding, it is clamping down on doctor reimbursements for Medicare and Medicaid, which has meant fewer and fewer doctors willing to accept Medicare/Medicaid patients. The state’s solution? Force them.

Every health care provider licensed in the commonwealth which provides covered services to a person covered under “Affordable Health Plans” must provide such service to any such person, as a condition of their licensure, and must accept payment at the lowest of the statutory reimbursement rate…

As one doctor noted:

So what this means is that in order for doctors to become licensed in Massachusetts, they will have to agree to accepting the payment rates imposed by the government, even though those payments may not cover their actual expenses for the care rendered.


But it isn’t unbelievable–not if you view need as an entitlement. If a Medicare patient’s need of health care entitles him to it, then why should a doctor have the right to refuse service just because the doctor won’t make money? Wouldn’t that be selfish and greedy?

There is nothing noble or benevolent about political thugs forcing doctors–the men and women without whom all of our health care needs would go unfulfilled–to sacrifice their time, their energy, and their wealth to anyone’s need.

Remember: the morality of need means serfdom for doctors.

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