Last week, on an episode of Fox & Friends, libertarian and Fox Business host John Stossel made a call to privatize nearly everything, including the medical organ business. The Fox host that once said the America is a “nation of freeloaders” thinks that we should not “get money for nothing,” if we have to, sell a kidney.
“I’m upset it’s not legal,” said Stossel of organ selling on Fox & Friends. But, it doesn’t stop there. A syndicated columnist, he published an article that further bolsters his support for poor people to just up and sell an organ. He does this behind the ill-harbored logic that “we have two kidneys, we need one.”
Such an assertion begs the question, why does it have to be that way? Why should it come to the point where people need or should have the option to sell an organ when they’re hard up for cash?
His assertion comes from the idea that people are too dependent on the government for care and security, so he decides that privatization is the answer. Essentially, Stossel is insisting that dependency be shifted from the government to private corporations. Especially in this case, further privatization of the health care system, which already scalps billions of dollars annually from patients.
Stossel makes the comparison of a possible American organ trade to the Iranian organ trade. In Iran, a kidney costs about $1,200. The number one rule of business is buy low and sell high. If American medical corporations were afforded to legally buy and sell kidneys, it wouldn’t be as simple as Stossel makes the endeavor seem.
Companies surely wouldn’t perform a removal procedure for free, so either the person selling would have to pay immensely high surgery fees, or experience a “post-fee” estimate cut in the originally quoted price of the organ. Another way an organ trading company would possibly recoup the expense is boosting the price of the organ on the back end, forcing a patient in need of the kidney to pay even more money.
And that’s not to mention any chance of financial aid for medical expenses, as what some charity hospitals offer, being all but eradicated as a payment option for kidney buyers and sellers. Basically, Stossel is insisting on an option that turns human flesh into a for-profit business where people can buy, sell, and trade their body parts like some automotive you-pull-it.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.