Today's Quote of the Day, from Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) deals with two types of markets and their relationship to health care. It is based on an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The theory of the various market systems is not my specialty, however, this articles does a good job of simplifying the competing market models.
Individual resources and choices determine the distribution of health care, with little sense of collective obligation or a role for government. Known as market justice, this approach derives from principles of individualism, self-interest, personal effort, and voluntary behavior. The contrasting approach, social justice, allocates goods and services according to the individual's needs. It stems from principles of shared responsibility and concern for the communal well-being, with government as the vehicle for ensuring equity.
Now, I actually think that Ayn Rand did a good job of "imagining" the worst case scenario in the social justice market in Atlas Shrugged. If you are looking for the worst-case scenario in the market justice model, look no further than health care in America.
Software development - I believe in market justice. Auto manufacturing - I believe in market justice (more so than many Democrats and Republicans that feel we should prop up Michigan's failing auto industry). A system which decides the very life and death of people - not so much.
...Social justice in health care requires universal coverage and ensured access to care, whether through social insurance, private insurance, or some combination.