There is currently, as is well known, a debate on health policy. Within this debate it seems to me there is a fundamental misunderstanding between right and left on this matter. I’d like to make as pointed a expression of this misunderstanding in the hopes that those on the left might clarify for my their views on this matter.

The left makes the following claims:

  1. Restructuring healthcare is required because of the millions without any health insurance coverage.
  2. Controlling the rising costs of healthcare is a major concern as well. Therefore the healthcare bill contains measures to contain and regulate pharmaceutical and insurance firm profits as well as doctors compensations. 

These items are problematic especially in the light of the three proposals on the table from the left.

Regarding item 1, a plan which would provide a minimal adequate universal catastrophic health care coverage is neither complicated nor cost prohibitive. It does not require a 2.5k page plan, one more of the nature of 40 pages would suffice, i.e., not much larger than the heath care coverage legal statement/booklets which most of of have for our own plans. This is not by any stretch of imagination the healthcare plan on the table. Therefore it cannot be construed that this issue is in fact a real feature/concern of the plan(s) in question.

As to item number 2, the first and more natural explanation for rising costs is due to a relationship between supply and demand. That is rising costs are symptomatic of rising demand in comparison with a supply. The bill(s) in question instead of consisting of a mechanism for increasing supply and/or attempting to ameliorate expectations or demand is instead more of the nature of a price control and regulatory scheme. In the real world, price controls of commodity items lead to lowered supply and scarcity … not increased production. That is price controls are in reality very good ways to choke off and decrease the supply of a thing. Furthermore the profit margins of insurance companies and “big pharma” are not out of line when compared to comparable industries. Expectations of large cost savings by regulation are not warranted, and this is in addition to the above noted deleterious effects of cost controls.

Putting these two remarks and their objections together alongside the much touted (by the left) reminder that those on the left are so very much smarter than we knuckle-dragging dim-witted conservatives that the left is aware of this disconnect between their policy proposals and the expected effects of their proposal. Thus those clever fellows on the left realising that a universal reasonable catastrophic insurance coverage plan is 40 pages and that cost controls do lead to shortages. 

Now one might propose that the Democratic politicians and pundits are aware that their proposals and justifications for the same have little if anything to do with each other and that instead that they prefer these proposals for very different reasons than those stated. For example, these proposals may ease the passing of any number of other social measures which the increase in social control and power these bills might afford. That, while dishonest at best, is at least understandable after all they see this measure to be one which is to their personal advantage. The problem is the rank and file member of the left. Why do they support a bill which so badly fits the stated aims? This, for me, a mystery.

Filed under: GovernmentHealthcareMark O.

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