“Despite our differences, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and I have something in common.  He calls me a clown.  I call him misguided.  He is authoritarian.  I am libertarian.  He thinks consuming sugar, tobacco, liquor, fast food, salt, fat and a sedentary lifestyle as coping mechanisms for depression, loneliness, stress, grief and unpopularity are unhealthy.  I think contentment, satisfaction, happiness, leisure and pleasure are healthy.  For him, adults are subjects who must live as he sees fit.  For me, adults are civilians who must live as they see fit.

For him, people are chemical processes to be perpetuated by medical science.  For me, people have spirits, minds and souls to be enriched by satisfied needs.  He wants to coerce supplicants.  I want to empower informed choices.  He sets a bad example by appearing overweight and sedentary.  I set a good example by healthy living.  He says competitive prices are “excessive”.  I say they are ideal.  He boasted about being a nanny-state nanny.  My children boasted about being the boss of themselves.  What could people with such opposing paradigms have in common?  Magic.  Yes, magic.  We are both magicians.  I am an amateur, whereas he is a professional.  I perform mundane tricks; he performs high-end mental magic”.

Health minister uses illusion to talk up benefits of the NHI Leon Louw, executive director of the Free Market Foundation, writing in BDlive today published by Busniess Day.

Further excerpts

Gullible people think something called “insurance” is insurance, even when told that, under National Health Insurance (NHI), health insurance will be banned, and that insurance premiums and medical scheme contributions will be expropriated.  When the rich, whose taxes fund Motsoaledi spend, are told that they will not be allowed to spend what is left on themselves, that it will be “pooled” into the health budget, they grin with glee.

Like magicians using deceptive smoke, mirrors, props and patter, the NHI illusion relies on the lie that it is “unfair” for private “health spend” to benefit those who spend it, for private hospitals to benefit those who fund them, or for medical schemes to benefit members.  If Motsoaledi magic is applied in other contexts, your personal restaurant, house, car, holiday, jewellery, clothing, grocery and wine “spend” will be “pooled” for magical reallocation too.