The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

Government Run Health Care is Always a Failure and more Expensive

The biggest lie of this whole Obama lurch toward Socialism/deconstructing America is that government run health care would be cheaper. A Democrat was recently heckled off the stage for trying to say this with a straight face in a public townhall meeting. Americans were not, and are not, buying it.

It doesn’t take anything but common sense to understand why a government run health care plan or any collectivist solution won’t work and won’t be cheaper. Take any good or service and make it a ‘right’. If your barrier to consuming a valuable good/service is taken away, demand will overwhelm the supply/system every time.

With other key goods and services like food, housing, and transportation, everyone has to decide how much they have to spend and then how much of that they want to spend.

If, for example, food were suddenly a make-believe government ‘right’, then we would all want steak and lobster and the best gourmet food all the time. The government would quickly run out of money and would start rationing expensive, good tasting food and give you what it decided it could afford for you, like Spam or hot dogs, etc.

In the past (even before employer health subsidies distorted the market), you weighed the cost of going to the doctor with how bad your medical issue was. Charge too much for health care and no one would buy it. Charge too little and demand overwhelmed supply. But this doesn’t happen because millons of individual health transactions created a natural market balance of quality to cost. This is how all the rest of our society works or used to work in a free market economy.

In the unsustainable pipe dream of government health care, the same supply will have to suffice for a doubling or up to a ten-fold increase in demand because someone else (the government) thinks they can pay for it. They can’t. Every country and US state that has tried this approach either goes bankrupt or else has to ration/restrict the care provided to meet the exploding demand. A government option has an objective history of creating long health service waiting lines where people die waiting for the care their tax dollars have paid for. Artificial, politically driven pricing will also drive talented people from the expense of becoming doctors or investing in developing new medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or other services. This further accelerates a mis-match of demand with supply.

It’s as if this government pretends the laws of economics don’t apply or they don’t understand them or the underlying human nature that drives them.

This week Obama will be on TV this week and attempt to mislead you again (post-failed auto market, mortgage market, and ‘stimulus’ schemes) that the laws of economics/human nature again don’t apply to health care. I urge you to reject his anti-health plan and his anti-American, collectivist world view.

The free market works! All of our prosperity has come from individuals working and producing what we need in this framework. Why in the world do we not AGAIN apply the free market to health care? It is the model and solution we need to tell our leaders to go back to for affordable, quality US health care!

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Filed under: Health Care, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. andao says:

    I have to wholeheartedly disagree with your assertion. Every country in the world with a public, universal health care option runs cheaper than the American option. Our life expectancy, infant mortality, and patient-to-doctor ratios are not better. Japan is a fully capitalist society that spends a third of what we do per capita on health care, and 83% of health expenditure in Japan is from the government. This is extremely damaging to our own auto industry, since Toyota can afford to sell vehicles for thousands of dollars cheaper as a result. Of course, there are other reasons that the auto industry is failing, but I digress.

    A public option to compete with private health insurers will work like Harvard competing against UC Berkeley. One is private, one is public. Both are thriving; Harvard isn’t going out of business anytime soon. But it controls cost and gives people an option. A universal health care option is not possible in America for political reasons, but I would be happy to forgo my current insurance plan for a public one if I had that option. I can’t afford my current plan, and I can’t find anything cheaper.

    • Philosopher says:

      Thanks for your comments Andao.

      Of your points, I will respond to your one on public vs. private competition. We already have two public/government ‘options’ for people today: Medicare and Medicade. Both are on their way to bankrupcy. Contrary to what you say, I think a government plan will destroy the health care market. The government is the only true monopoly and has no need to every show a profit no matter how bad it is run or how poor an outcome it produces.

      With politics driving it’s pricing and compensation for services rendered, the rest of employers will dump the cost of their insurance to the govt and the private insurance providers will eventually be driven out of business by being undercut by big government subsidized with our tax dollars.

      Socialism always fails. This is why government health care has failed or is failing in every state that has tried it. With ‘govt care’ you won’t even get the savings you are looking for. You will be forced to pay what the govt dictates and your quality of care will be in an ever diminishing spiral through rationing, lack of access, investors no longer investing in new procedures or drugs, and no say over what care you want for you body.

      Don’t get old or expensively sick, my friend. If you do, we’ll have to cut you off for the cost and the good of everyone else.

  2. 2ndhandskeptic says:

    According to HealthAffairs.org, the US spends more on healthcare (per capita) than any other country in the study, many of whom (such as the UK and Canada) have government-run healthcare; so it is false to say that government-run healthcare is more expensive. Of course, that depends on how the system is set up! I don’t know enough about the current proposal to say if it will be more or less expensive than what we’ve already got.

    Also, I think you are conflating rights (such as the right to food, which we already have under the 4th Amendment if nothing else) with free. Even if we do have a right to healthcare, that doesn’t mean it will be free. In fact, I agree that there should be some cost to it to minimize frivolous visits to doctors and specialists.

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