Saturday, April 1, 2017

How to Solve the Health Care Problem

My theory on how to solve the age-old medical care problem has always been very basic. Remove the criminal element, I.E. the government.

My theory gave me the tools to recognize, right from the start, that Donald Trump would not be successful in "fixing" the health care business. So long as any proposed fix involved the corrupt hand of government, it could never work. So long as the delivery of medical care remains tied to political careers, and politically influential corporations, and organizations, the consumers of health care will continue to be ripped off. It's a mathematical certainty, like the sinking of the Titanic.

My Vision

The idea first began to percolate into my mind when I read the Fraser Institute book, "Canadian Medicine: A Study in Restricted Entry." That was about thirty years ago so, pardon me if my recollection of the details is a little foggy, and without going to the trouble of re-reading that book, here is the main message I derived from it: If medical doctors could take advantage of a licensing regime, it would allow them to restrict the number of competing practitioners in their field. I.E. limiting the supply. By artificially limiting the supply of health care delivery providers, the price of medical care would be pushed up, thus guaranteeing higher incomes to those who were part of the club.

This was where the history of medical care took a monumental turn. The use of intrinsically corrupt political mechanisms drove the supply of medical care down.

And its cost was driven up.

It's simple supply and demand economics. A child could grasp it.

This was the start of modern medical care history.

The government footprint in the health care field only grew from that point. As it grew, the delivery of health care became increasingly politicized. And as it became increasingly politicized, the outcome was, predictably, no different than the outcomes experienced in other areas where government, and its intrinsically perverse incentives, have the largest footprints.

Just off the top of my head, here is a short list of other areas of life that are dominated by political decisions, and the sorry results:

  • Peace - by the institutions that bring us war.

  • Government Education - The idea is first promoted as being the means by which all citizens be given the basic tools needed to function in a democratic society. The result, at a bare minimum, is a collosal waste of resources. In the end, government controlled education devolves into a system of crass brainwashing.

  • The "wars" on poverty - an abject failure.

  • The battle against homelessness - never ends.

  • Who would build the roads? - The overwhelming evidence to date has been gridlock, death, and endless debates about even more government control of human mobility. (See Hamilton's LRT debate.)

  • The war on drugs - not working.

  • Racial and Religious Harmony - Like, duh!

  • Subsidized art - See Why Modern Art is Absolute Crap

  • Government cannot even regulate the taxi business without creating enormous disruptions, injustice, and misery. The whole Uber controversy hinges upon who controls the rules of the game, and how easily corruptible the trusted referees all are. Politics does not attract decent, trustworthy people.

  • ... and after a long tragic history of failure, we are now expected to put our trust in this utterly incompetent institution to control the earth's climate!

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting a different result. You'd have thought people would have figured this out by now. But again, most of them went to government schools.

Government is not the solution. It is the problem.

"The state is God, deifies arms and prisons. The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster."

-- Ludwig von Mises

"The function of government should be to put itself out of business." -- Timothy Leary

If government can be removed from playing any role in the delivery of health care, the quality of care will skyrocket, and prices will plummet.


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