Rituparna Basu on Capitol Hill: Taking the Moral High Ground in the Health Care Debate

While there is heated debate today over the growth of government control of medicine, what’s often missing, particularly from those on the Right, is moral opposition to the policies on the table.

Take one of the hottest issues today: whether the United States should control the price of prescription drugs. Critics defend the often high price of these drugs by correctly pointing out, among other things, that these prices are a consequence of high production costs, that they reflect the enormous value these drugs offer and that price controls will only hamper innovation. But what critics never challenge is a key moral perspective coloring the Left’s opposition to high drug prices: their moral opposition to drug companies seeking to maximize profits.

In a briefing last Friday on Capitol Hill, ARI’s Rituparna Basu urged Republican congressional staffers to take the moral high ground on the health care issues they work on and argued why it is critical for them to do so.

“My goal,” said Basu after the briefing, “was to illustrate to these staffers that moral ideas ultimately drive the debate. If they want to repeal Obamacare, they have to be willing to challenge, in some form, the idea that people are morally entitled to health care. If they want to maintain freedom in pharmaceutical pricing, they have to be willing to say it’s moral for a drug company to pursue as much profit as it can earn. We also talked about how Ayn Rand is invaluable in providing these moral arguments.”