Libertarians say: Government (Regulation) Kills!

The Center for Libertarian Press Information is a collaborative effort of Libertarian Party members to provide the public with timely and accurate information on the Party’s principles, policy positions and activities. Their latest release follows:

The old adage “the operation was a success, but the patient died” is never more true than when government gets into the healthcare business. The restrictions on midwives were and remain an excellent example.

Ever since the first licensing laws were passed well over a century ago, healthcare in America has not been part of a free market. Those laws were passed with pressure from one group of medical professionals to give them protection from competition. The laws had little to do with protecting patients’ health, and nothing to do with protecting their freedom to choose among medical practitioners.

Licensing laws were successful in killing the competition from midwives, but at the same time they harmed new mothers and their babies. Minority communities were especially affected, because they were denied the choice of alternative, less expensive, healthcare providers who were forced from business by the new regulations.

In his book “Born in the USA”, author Marsden Wagner, MD, MS, notes that Scandinavia and the Western Europe countries where midwives handle births have a lower rate of maternal and infant mortality than the more highly-regulated United States.

Washington State Libertarian and former gubernatorial candidate Ruth Bennett notes “Midwifery has started to make a comeback, but many states still restrict certain types of midwives. Women are still denied a choice and the results show up in the death statistics. Midwives also have lower rates of unnecessary procedures and Caesarian births. Opening the market to midwives can save lives as well as dollars”.


Contact: Susan Hogarth | media@clipr.info
PRLog release version w/PDF: Click here

22 thoughts on “Libertarians say: Government (Regulation) Kills!

  1. tab

    I really have no idea about anything surrounding midwives, but aren’t they still legal in the US? In theory, could I not just hire anyone to birth my child? I am not fined for not going to the doctor or hiring a certain licensed midwife.

  2. Michael Seebeck

    tab,

    Midwives are still not legal in some states, for various bogus reasons. While there are no federal regulations on them and it is purely a state issue (for now, and hopefully it stays that way!), some states still are stuck in the obsolete notion that only doctors and hospitals are the places to give birth.

    I know that’s utter bullshit because my wife and I used a midwife for our second after the undisputed disaster that was a hospital and OB/GYN for our first. We had a homebirth and I did my fatherly duty, catching him on the way out, cutting the cord, naming him, and all that. Greatest day of my life.

    And before hospitals came along, it was always done that way with a midwife or doula.

    I always recommend a midwife over a hospital barring complications, but make sure the midwife is an RN or LPN and has a good record.

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    Susan thank you for the credit. May I add this was the work of a group and the group deserves credit for doing this and the others. My thanks to the crew that worked on this and offered both compliments and criticism.

    And tab just to add to what Michael Seebeck writes. In the U.S. midwifery began a comeback after 1968 and today less than 10% of all infants born in this country are delivered by midwives.

    In some European nations midwives deliver over 50% and maybe as many as 70% with lower infnat mortality rates as well as lower maternal mortality rates.

    As I understand it some segments of the medical profession have passed resolutions to outlaw non nurse midwives and I believe that the AMA passed a resolution to outlaw home births. Lots going on in this field and we have just touched the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Lot of time consuming research to do.

    MW

  4. Susan Hogarth

    I always recommend a midwife over a hospital barring complications, but make sure the midwife is an RN or LPN and has a good record.

    Mike, I’m surprised. How does having a government-sponsored license make the midwife more competent?

  5. Michael Seebeck

    Susan,

    It’s not about the f’ing license. It’s about the certification and the training.

    I suppose I could have just picked a bum off the street, but I actually gave enough of a damn about my wife’s health and that of my son to think that qualifications and certifications and training actually mean something, no matter who licenses or certifies it. So our midwife, who was recommended, was an RN as well as had delivered over a thousand babies, legally and not. I checked her quals. The RN training was a bonus.

    Yes, sometimes a license isn’t indicative of competence.

    But sometimes it is.

  6. Susan Hogarth

    I suppose I could have just picked a bum off the street…

    Not sure what I said provoked this level of hostility.

  7. Michael Seebeck

    Hostility? No. Sarcasm? Yes.

    Questioning my choices in the birth of my child, either real or implied, not to mention questioning the expert professional qualifications of those I consider dear friends, REALLY rubs me the wrong way.

    I stand by my statements, because they come from a personal experience of a lifting up from a personal Hell that if you’re lucky you’ll never experience.

  8. Michael Seebeck

    No, you just by implication questioned the qualifications of a friend and highly experienced person in her field, someone who when it comes to childbirth hasn’t been around the block, she built the block!

    Bad form, Susan.

  9. Susan Hogarth

    …you just by implication questioned the qualifications…

    Now you’re getting on my nerves. It’s not about you, your choices, your pals, your babies, or YOU, damnit. It was a general point in a discussion about licensing.

    You mentioned that you would reccomend that someone seeking a midwife seek one who was a licensed nurse. I expressed surprise that you would correlate liscensure with competence. You took that as some sort of attack on YOUR particular midwife. I said it wasn’t intended as such, and you basically told me I was full of shit. And you have the nerve to accuse ME of ‘bad form’?

    Bad form, Susan.

    I think it’s much worse form to assume that someone who makes a general point about the correlation between certification and competence *in a discussion about that topic* is ‘by implication’ questioning the quals of someone she doesn’t know.

    Bad form is to take offense where none was intended (or could have been intended). WORSE form is to CONTINUE to posture and act like a jackass after offense is *specifically disclaimed*.

    Here: You’re a god, Mike. You make awesome choices all the time and your friends are all ultracompetent god-like beings themselves.

    Happy?

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    The Farm is a rather interesting experience in human living and they have a rather interesting experience in midwifery. I don’t know the number of births to date. As I recall most if not all have been handled by direct entry midwives. I could be wrong. Enjoy.
    http://www.thefarm.org/midwives/index.html

  11. Catholic Trotskyist

    I, the chairman of the Catholic Trotskyist Party, was born with the assistance of a midwife, so I agree with the Libertarians on this issue. I trust that the ever-angry Seabeck and my other detractors will not blame the midwife for what they consider to be my mental illness/insanity. I certainly don’t.

  12. paulie

    I really have no idea about anything surrounding midwives, but aren’t they still legal in the US? In theory, could I not just hire anyone to birth my child? I am not fined for not going to the doctor or hiring a certain licensed midwife.

    Legal in (I believe) most, but not all, states, and heavily regulated in many, which is the point of the release.

  13. paulie

    The title made it sound like something anarchist without the regulation in parenthesis.

    How so? Minarchist libertarians have been making the same point for decades.

  14. Michael Seebeck

    Sorry, Tom, you may be right, but Susan in her usual sense of (lack of) tact pushed the wrong button, simply because the problem with the position of questioning a qualification based on a certification or a license is a baloney strawman in the first place. I specifically pointed that out in the first post.

    Yes, this particular issue is damned personal for me. Bury your own child after a potential MD screwup and you’ll understand why. Few who read or post here regularly have had the displeasure of doing so, and those who haven’t just don’t get how utterly personal to the core it truly is.

    And Trotskyite still hasn’t learned to spell-check, copy-and-paste, or make sense.

    Finally, I’m not “ever-angry”, nor am I a “god”. Text is one of the worst ways to convey information because mood and body language are missing. In fact, I find most of this pathetically amusing, since such inane ad homenim attacks don’t bother me, but nobody seems to have figured that out yet. I’ve heard and said much worse, and I’m comfortable enough in who and what I am that it means nothing.

  15. Michael Seebeck

    Susan,

    You said @12,

    You mentioned that you would reccomend that someone seeking a midwife seek one who was a licensed nurse. I expressed surprise that you would correlate liscensure with competence. You took that as some sort of attack on YOUR particular midwife. I said it wasn’t intended as such, and you basically told me I was full of shit. And you have the nerve to accuse ME of ‘bad form’?

    You apparently ignored what I said @7:

    It’s not about the f’ing license. It’s about the certification and the training.

    and

    Yes, sometimes a license isn’t indicative of competence.

    But sometimes it is.

    Instead you chose to make a federal case over my sarcasm. You should have seen that your generalization was thoroughly debunked with simple common sense.

    Have you ever lost a child? I have. So, yes, it’s damned personal to me–EXTREMELY damned personal to me. But to act like an ass as you did and then get on my case? Yes, that’s bad form. YOU escalated it, and you don’t expect a response in kind? You reap what you sow, Susan.

    And had you any idea on the training and certs required to be a midwife, you never would have asked such a poor question in the first place.

    Yeah, maybe I did overreact some, but you took it way out of context and way out of line.

  16. Susan Hogarth

    Susan in her usual sense of (lack of) tact

    Irony?

    At any rate, I am sorry that I seem to have upset you.

  17. Erik Geib

    Isn’t this generally the time and place that Robert Capozzi says ‘can’t we all get along?’

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