Recently, U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) proposed an unorthodox measure. The interesting part of the bill is how it would reward potential organ donors. As reported by Slate:
The pilots would test how various rewards resonate. Rather than large sums of cash, potential rewards could include a contribution to the donor’s retirement fund, an income tax credit or a tuition voucher, lifetime health insurance, a contribution to a charity of the donor’s choice, or loan forgiveness. Only the government, or a government-designated charity, would be allowed to distribute these benefits. (The funds could potentially come from the savings of stopping dialysis, which costs roughly $80,000 a year per person.) In other words, needy patients would receive kidneys regardless of their ability to reward donors out of their own pockets.
Libertarians will likely view this proposal with some skepticism, particularly because one crux of the argument is that the study’s “goal is to permit study of the effect of rewarding people who are willing to save the life of a stranger through living donation: Not through a free market with direct cash payments, which would bring up insurmountable ethical concerns, but through other regulated and limited means.” [emphasis added]
The question asked by libertarians would likely be: is it more “unethical” to allow the free market to solve a crisis than it is to artificially raise college tuition through subsidies, and then push graduates to pay off their resulting insurmountable loan debt with their vital organs?
Interestingly enough, the market has solutions for both organ donation and high college tuition which needn’t involve government whatsoever.
Watch the videos below to learn more: