Sunday, August 11, 2019

More on the Problems With Government Healthcare For All

Government paid for medicine
This is my third post on problems with government healthcare for all (Post 1, Post 2).

This post and the second post are prompted by a commenter who is in favor of government paid healthcare.

In post 2, he comments:
I'm the one who made that comment. I am for free market on everything for healthcare except for how it is paid for. That is all I am saying. No government intervention on prices. No government provided care providers. All free market competition to to provide services and charge whatever prices they want to establish markets and price signals.
Just whatever is charged is taxed according to real estate property taxes.
It is not like people choose to get debilitating diseases. If you get type 1 diabetes, it is not your fault and you basically financially screwed for the rest of your life unless society helps you out. Medication cost like $6000 a month to live. What? Just going to say tough luck and let the person die?
I am continuing my discussion on this because it gets to the heart of the problem with lefties. They are shallow thinkers and government paid healthcare is a perfectexample .

As I wrote in post 2:
I have pointed out elsewhere, what lefties don't seem capable of doing, and government healthcare for all is a lefty position, is to think beyond the surface about policy:
 A long-time contention of mine is that lefties are not very deep thinkers. They react to what is in front of them and do not think of long-term consequences.
If the government pays for healthcare, the government controls what healthcare services will be provided and which won't. It is healthcare by government whereby those in the healthcare sector close to government will control which healthcare programs are paid for and which are not.

The idea that this can be some kind of  "free market on everything for healthcare except for how it is paid for" with no government intervention, is just not deep thinking.  If government pays for healthcare, it is total control of the healthcare system by the government, since it will determine what healthcare treatments will and will not be paid for.

Being against government healthcare is not saying to the person who gets seriously ill and has no insurance "tough luck and let the person die," it is simply saying that government isn't the solution.

Government healthcare is really a special case of F.A. Hayek's Chapter 10 in The Road to Serfdom, "Why the Worst Get On Top."

 If you have a central planner in control of payments in a sector that by definition eliminates alternatives. In addition, it is a sector that is extremely susceptible to influence of the evil influencers that always lurk around points of central power.

For the seriously ill person that does not have the insurance or funds, charities is the answer. It is actually better for him as well as the rest of us because it will be an environment where competition, creativity and new inventions and discoveries thrive. And for advancing healthcare for all of us, that is the type of environment we want to have operating.



  1. Per the commenter, "If you get type 1 diabetes, it is not your fault and you basically financially screwed for the rest of your life unless society helps you out. Medication cost like $6000 a month to live."

    Two additional responses to RW's comments.

    First, medication costs so much because of government involvement in the healthcare sector (e.g., FDA, patents, restricting the supply of hospitals and doctors, Medicare payment schedules, etc.). Get rid of government, and prices would come down dramatically.

    Second, there is no actual being called "society" that helps you out when government acts; the government is forcibly taking money and resources from others to give them to you (after taking its cut). Those others are now not able to use this money and those resources for ends that they might consider as vital, if not more vital, than paying for your medication. It might not be your fault that you contracted diabetes, but neither is it the fault of those who are being forced to pay for your condition.

  2. Notice too how medical procedures that historically were not covered by government insurance nor private insurance and are paid out of a patient's pocket, have drastically come down in price: procedures like liposuction, lasik eye surgery to correct near-sightedness, breast-enhancement surgery, face lifts, etc.; There is no third-party payer for these procedures, and while they were cost-prohibitive for the average Joe (or Josephine) when they first started being performed, thanks to private-sector competition, they are relatively easy for people to afford now.
    If government got out of regulating, controlling and covering the rest of health care (including expensive diabetes medicine, and other procedures) those costs would drop too.