Posts Tagged ‘Volunteerism’
August 8th, 2013 at 6:09 pm
Compassion, Liberal Style
Posted by Print

Protectionism for volunteers? It’s an idea only the left could love. From John K. Ross, writing at Reason:

In the aftermath of the tornado that devastated Joplin in 2011, Remote Area Medical, a Tennessee-based charity that provides free health care, sent its mobile eyeglass laboratory to Missouri to help.

But it wasn’t allowed to assist because Missouri law makes it extremely difficult for doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals to offer free services.

“We did send the vehicle up there,” said RAM founder Stan Brock. “Unfortunately, it was not allowed to do anything because we did not have a Missouri-licensed optometrist and opticians available to do the work.”

Now, the kindhearted amongst you may have assumed (hoped?) as I did upon reading that passage that this was the product of some archaic law that no one knew existed until the situation arose (though even then one would have to question why they bothered enforcing it). Nope. Not only is this active policy, it’s one that the Show-Me State’s governor is intent on protecting:

In May, state legislators passed the Volunteer Health Services Act, which would have allowed health professionals licensed in other states to offer free care in Missouri and also would have relaxed medical malpractice liability for volunteer health workers.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill last month, writing that the VHSA “is unnecessary given that Missouri already has a system in place that encourages volunteerism.”

There is political calculation and then there’s intellectual and moral perversion. Saying “Thanks, but we’d prefer you not help the most afflicted amongst us” falls decidedly into the latter category. It’s stories like this that remind us that “compassionate conservatism” is a tautology.