If the infinitive to ration means to limit individual availability of a commodity to a fixed portion, and some force external to the dynamics of supply and demand within a given market effects that limiting, enforcing that rationing becomes an issue. Only government has the power to enforce arbitrary rules that run counter to the interactions driven by internal forces in unfettered markets.
Since the production of commodities is finite, there can only be so many available doctors’ appointments, flu shots, and replacement livers available at any given moment. In both free and managed economies, dollars compete for goods and services, and in the process, their prices escalate proportionate to demand. Inevitably, some bidders lack the needed resources to stay in the contest and fall by the wayside.
This is where the mommy staters enter the fray. Only the productivity of the governed limits government’s resources, meaning that the state’s purchasing power greatly exceeds that of any individual. Through regulatory and economic pressure, governments control industries to determine price and availability.
The issue of rationing health care—forget for the moment what health care means this week—brings baggage with it. How best to cut up the pie that the state has confiscated becomes a related matter. At this point, progressives trot out their smoke-and-mirrors campaign concerning fairness. They severely and arbitrarily euphemize the term fair.
Rather than an even handed, laissez-faire approach in which each one of us bids for commodities, mommy staters want government intervention to insure that all outcomes are equal regardless of individual input. To them, taxpayers should pay for an illegal alien receiving, on the basis of a demographically determined quota system, the next available kidney rather than allowing an entrepreneur whose efforts employ 500 people to buy it with private resources.
May your gods be with you.