Reforming Whose Health Care?

The US health care system is now under a full frontal assault by the Federal government in the guise of “Health Care Reform”. How many times do I have to say, “define your terms”. Reform health care? Whose health care? Mine or yours? Given the context I know that it is the “system” that allegedly needs “reforming”. So what is wrong with it? Sifting through much of the rhetoric about it there are three key elements:

  1. Health care services are considered too expensive.
  2. Health care is not provided efficiently.
  3. Too many people are uninsured (41 million Americans are reported as such).

 Before going down the path to further socialism, with the absolutely ludicrous idea that government is going to ensure both cost savings and better service, a simple question needs to be seriously considered. Why? Why is care so expensive? Why is it claimed to be inefficient? Why are people uninsured?

At root the answers will lie somewhere in the fact that these curious problems correlate in their severity with the entry and continuously increasing involvement of government in the regulation and subsidizing of some health care services. Now these fools want government to fix the problems it created.

Worse than any of that however, is the fact that health care services are thought of as some kind of right or entitlement. Like any other good or service, it must be supplied through the use of scarce resources. Again, millions of patients seek care from professionals and make judgments relative to price, the only true indicator of value. That is, they do so if the costs are real to them. When someone else pays consumers become stupid about judging their need for services. Free markets may not be perfect, but they are the best alternative for trending toward cost savings and efficiency. Proponents of socialized medicine need to make a moral argument and prove the superiority of their cause in the face of historical and current practical evidence to the contrary for their claims. It can’t be done.

Copyright 2009 Edward Podritske

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