no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

The Cause of the Health Care “Crisis”

December 9th, 2008

This afternoon, one radio talking head noted that Health Care and College Education are the two industries that really, really have us all by the short-and-curlies. My gut reaction to this is, “D’uh!” Health Care and College Education are two of the most heavily regulated industries.

Some callers noted that a broken leg cost $36,000 or a ruptured appendix cost $25,000 for four nights, or that post-natal nursery care costs $2,000 regardless of whether the infant spent any time in the nursery. A caller was quick to chime in with “The cost of health care in the last decade has risen by 500% (or something) and the cost of cars has only gone up 15%, why does the government allow this to happen?“.

Now, I’m on record as describing “universal” or “single-payer” health care as moral hazard of epic proportions, because the concept, almost by definition, violates every principle of proper (by which I mean “actuarially sound”) insurance. I would go as far as to suggest that outside of State socialism (and we all know how well that works…) universal health care is a metaphysical impossibility: “Successful” and “Single-payer” should never appear in the same sentence.

In all fairness, the scariest part about Universal Healthcare is the amount of control it would give bureaucrats over your life, as if they don’t exercise enough already. But you might dismiss that as tinfoil-hat-paranoia, “Our bureaucrats are noble and benevolent,” you might protest.

Fine. So what if they are?

Universal, single-payer health care doesn’t work in Canada (e.g., “some health care for poor people” but inadequate care for anyone else) and it doesn’t work in the U.K. (e.g., flat-out denials of arguably needed services, etc.). Single-payer health insurance didn’t work in Massachusetts, despite all their ham-fisted attempts to outlaw the laws of economics, and it goddamn-well isn’t going to work anywhere else some half-wit politician tries to implement it.

So, back to the question, “Why does the government allow this to happen?”

The government not only allows this to happen, its policies cause it to happen. If you think TEH GOVERNMENT is going to solve the “health-care crisis,” or the “education crisis”, you’re in for a rude awakening.

Comments

7 Comments

RSS
  • Topher says on: December 9, 2008 at 11:56 pm

     

    According to the Canadian fellow in the office next to mine, health care in fact does work quite adequately in Canada. There may be some delays for non-urgent care, but unlike in the U.S., nobody’s at risk of financial ruin because of health care costs. Exactly what is your basis for saying “inadequate care for everyone else”?

  • David Z says on: December 10, 2008 at 9:33 am

     

    Whenever anyone is forced to wait for care that they could otherwise receive in the absence of government meddling, I deem that level of care to be “inadequate.”

    A bureaucrat defines “urgent”, not the patient, to whom care (or lack thereof) matters most.

  • FSK says on: December 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

     

    You missed the damaging effect of State licensing requirements for doctors. This restricts the supply of doctors, driving up prices.

    I’ve never seen a mainstream media discussion of the healthcare crisis where licensing requirements for doctors seriously considered as a cause for the problem.

  • David Z says on: December 10, 2008 at 12:58 pm

     

    Thanks FSK – the state licensing requirements exacerbate a problem that would manifest itself anyways.

  • Brad says on: December 10, 2008 at 1:31 pm

     

    I also think a growing problem with health care is “health.” Our society is not living healthy and nothing is rewarding living a healthy life style. Do you know of any health insurance companies that give lower rates based on how healthy you are. I wouldn’t care if I had to get a physical every 6 months or have to meet some physical standards (like in the military) to get lower rates. Even if it meant going to some facility the health insurance company set up and I lost a saturday morning doing wind sprints or busting out a couple miles while being clocked. Since I would be in better shape I should get lower rates then some one who is not. If I was a parent or business owner it would make sense to promote getting in shape if I could cut 15%-50% off of my health insurance bills. Its a win/win for the insurance company because healthy people don’t go to the Dr’s as much. They only need health insurance in case of cancer or when a severe case of rage-a-hol takes over and they break a bone or their face shredding gnar. Maybe I should start a company like this.

  • Zach S says on: December 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm

     

    Brad-

    I think that is a fantastic idea. A company that works with insurance companies and companies to provide health programs to lower their health insurance costs! I like it!

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics