Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why is a Government Monopoly Acceptable?

Here’s a fact: Monopolies are generally bad at providing goods and services; a single payer health system is a monopoly, the worst kind of all, one that is enforced with guns.

Here’s another fact: Free markets have a tendency to produce diversity; diversity has a tendency to produce the best services and goods, and thus, the happiest costumers.

The economic justifications for Universal Health Care and Socialized Medicine are nonexistent; the superiority of free-markets is well established. Instead, proponents of socialization relay on old slogans (about the ‘rights’ of the sick), broad statements that are wrong and mean nothing (about how ‘nobody’ can afford care), substituting antidotes for evidence (‘my father got horrible care in America, then he went to Canada and was fine’.)

But most dangerous of all, is handing out irrelevant data as evidence; such as saying, ‘Canadians live two years longer then Americans, so their health care is better.’ In industrialized countries, the amount of healthcare received has little to do with the length of ones life, lifestyle and habits mean far more. Priests in the middle ages could live well into their seventies; often, a parish would have a life expectancy greater then America’s is today (the church kept very good records.) Are we to assume that the Middle Ages had a better health care system then today? Of coarse not; the priests lived that long because they lived isolated lives and avoided illness, they worked enough to keep them healthy but never were strained from physical labor, and they ate enough not to be hungry, but not enough to cause problems (such as obesity, diabetes, and so on.)

The only data one should consider are the objective measurements of a health systems wellbeing: Such as the time it takes to get treatment and tests, to see a specialist; the availability of drugs; the satisfaction of costumers; most of all, one should consider actual healthcare received.

In all objective categories, freer markets win out.

But the Michael Moore’s and Hillary Clinton’s never mention this, and that is what is so telling about there missions. If socialism is truly a superior alternative, then all evidence should support that fact; if so, then why haven’t they mentioned any of it? Why then, do they revert to the evasive debating tactics mentioned above?

I’ll end this post with an antidote:

America’s Health industry is already about half socialized; this includes the FDA, Medicade and Medicare, HMO’s, insurance restrictions, and thousands of other little things; about half of all medical bills are paid by the government. Because of this, there have been some very predictable shortages, raising costs in insurance, and a universal slowing of growth and progress.

All except one field of medicine: cosmetics.

The actual services provided by cosmetic surgeons in not significantly different then other medical fields, neither is the education required in by the surgeons. And yet, year by year, cosmetic surgery has decreased in price (a lower income person can now get a nose job), increased in quality (cosmetic surgery has the highest rating of costumer satisfaction), the fastest growth in innovative technologies, and the best business plans (which results in lower costs.)

As I said, there is no significant difference between cosmetic surgery and other medical fields; except for one thing: government involvement. Compared to other fields of medicine, cosmetic medicine has nearly no government involvement in its business.

The conclusions drawn from this are simple; governments (and all monopolies) are bad at allocating goods and services, that has been proven over and over again in thousands of fields, medicine is no different.

Keep in mind that this is not just an argument about our health; it is for our very freedoms. Our right to get care where we choose, our doctors rights to provide care in a way they wish, an insurers right to provide a service, and my right to purchase it.

The ramifications on freedom are great; it is this issues above all others that should be the focus of this debate.

The fact that it’s not makes my usually optimistic self worry about the future of this county, and those that live in it.

I found this at Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

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