“The middle-of-the-road policy is not an economic system that can last. It is a method for the realization of socialism by installments.” -Ludwig Von Mises
There is a world of difference between the people and those who claim to speak for the people. The people would peacefully agree that there is a problem with our healthcare system. Where the disagreement happens is when we speak of the solution. We’ve reached the part of the trail where the road forks. We either go down the single payer path or opt for free market healthcare.
If your under the illusion that the American Healthcare Act is working then your a step behind the rest of us. If it were working healthcare wouldn’t be one of the largest concerns for Americans.
What is healthcare?
People who claim that healthcare is a right, fail to define what healthcare is. When we speak of healthcare we are talking about a good of service. When people speak of a right, they cannot mean something that has to be produced in order for you to have it. A good that has to be created cannot be a right since your existence is independent from the existence of that good.
Further health insurance is not healthcare. It seems we use the words interchangeably, health insurance is one way we use to purchase healthcare.
Before we can decide if we should go single payer we need to examine the root to the troubles with American Healthcare.
What is the Root of the problem with American Healthcare
One thing to remember when dealing with the government. Businesses and people will always petition the government to reduce competition because the government has the ability to put restrictions on businesses. And doctors are no different.
It starts with the Federal Stabilization Act of 1942. At the time America was heavy into World War II so the accepted a lot of restrictions in their behaviors including price and wage controls. This Act allowed companies facing scarce labor to offer health insurance benefits in order to stay competitive. They also exempted healthcare from payroll taxes.
Next came the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 which exempted insurance companies from several Federal laws such as antitrust laws. What do you think happened? If your going to have antitrust laws you can’t selectively enforce them. If you do, the industries and companies not subject to antitrust laws have a competitive advantage. Insurance companies could start their monopolization.
Hospital Survey and Construction Act passed during the Truman Administration was the Federal Government’s first foray into regulating public health. This Act greatly expanded the number of beds and patient capacity at hospitals. It also prioritized hospitals located at densely populated urban areas. For better or worse the Hospital Survey and Construction Act distorted the way hospitals were created.
The real boondoggle started with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. While everybody loves a good intentioned law, they seem to ignore the not so good consequences of said laws. After the passage the costs of healthcare sky rocketed. Even though these two programs were designed to make healthcare affordable.
Let’s not forget Bushes expansion of Medicare through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. A bill that added $318 billion to the national debt and add as much $852 billion to the debt over the next 10 years. Directly setting the stage for the creation of the American Healthcare Act (ACA).
That one we’ll examine at another time. These are just the path that led us to the huge monster that is the ACA. Couple these laws with licensing restrictions for doctors and hospitals that raise the demand for both. Though the US population has greatly increased, we have less medical school applications. Leading to less doctors. Which greatly increases their costs. Beneficial to doctors but not so great for the average American.
As you can see American Healthcare is a mess. Don’t let them tell you that it was the unregulated free market that caused it. Don’t let them tell you that insurance companies run the prices because the government practically held the door for this to happen. We cannot discuss a viable solution to will accurately address the root issue.
P.S. Credit to the Mises Institute that provided me with a lot of this information.