FREE TO CHOOSE….Christopher Bodeen of AP reports on the problems China is having with SARS, especially in rural areas:

Their plight highlights the decline of the system of “barefoot doctors” for whom the communists once were renowned, health care workers who ran basic rural clinics.

But support for such activities has dried up and millions of urban workers have lost health care as state industries that once supplied housing and other services go under or turn into private, profit-oriented companies.

Spending on health care fell from 32 percent of the national budget in 1986 to 14 percent in 1993 ? the years of the country’s fastest economic growth.

“What we’re seeing is that health care is supported by the people’s own pockets,” said WHO’s [Henk] Bekedam. “There has been a lack of investment in public goods and people aren’t going to pay to support other people out of their own.

Now that’s just alarmism. Private markets are the best way to solve this problem, and it’s only liberal Democrats ? the last vestige of a fading and corrupt ideology ? who oppose cutting healthcare for the poor. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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