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Driving Off a Cliff – Obamacare as the Final Lurch Forward

July 23, 2012

I’m always mystified how intelligent individuals can so feverishly support the hallmark of Obama’s presidency. As if we haven’t played with socialism enough. Hasn’t the last century taught us anything about the merits of capitalism, or the destruction of socialism? Haven’t the authoritarian regimes of the past contributed in the slightest to our understanding of markets? Einstein was correct: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Unfortunately for Einstein, we’ve arrived at the day and age where upwards of 50% of individuals could be considered politically insane. Government created the healthcare problem. And as always, government will only make it worse.

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What’s the problem with healthcare?

Healthcare’s been a mess for upwards of 50 years now. Remember when medicare and medicaid were propelled into the “marketplace”? The number of people paying out of hand plummeted, in converse with government and private insurance.

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So that’s how government got its foot in the door. For many people, government became the third party when it came to paying for healthcare. Forget about making price-conscious decisions when it comes to medicine. For the most part, government would do all the paying. Of course, the trend of third party payment doesn’t stop there.

The problem was only exacerbated by the trend of employers paying their workers in the form of health insurance. What began as a small tax incentive in the 1940s continued to grow into the health insurance dominated system we have today. And over time, government regulations forced insurance companies to cover virtually everything under the sun. Remember the birth control controversy? That was just the tip of the iceberg. Glasses, massage-therapy, blood tests, etc are all examples of non-insurable things health insurers have been required to cover.

The problem with such excessive third party payment has to do with the nature of the free market. In a market absent these third-party payment shenanigans, consumers are free to discriminate and choose based on price. That’s the element that drives prices down. When you have somebody else paying for your services, however, consumers are no longer price-weary. And that’s how doctors get away with charging exorbitant amounts of money.

What’s Wrong with Obamacare?

Here’s the problem with Obamacare: it doesn’t address the fundamental problems behind American medicine. Instead of shifting away from the horrendous system of third party payment, it forces it upon everyone. Instead of embracing a free market absent of government distortions, it only distorts the market further. The medical system in the United States is an enormous, convoluted thicket of bureaucracy. I haven’t even given due time to address some of the other prevailing obstacles to low-cost healthcare, like licencing and regulations. And yet, we’ve seen that Obama doesn’t address these true problems in the slightest. Instead, he perpetuates the already failed, broken system we have today. The soaring costs of healthcare as I write are only a vindication of what I’m saying.

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From → Ideology

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