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The Conceit of Centralized Health Care

September 19, 2009 - 8:26am
Richard Sutton by Richard Sutton

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Supporters of central planning, like President Obama, like to point out that we have had Medicare, which is a government health program, for decades so anyone who opposes governmental medical care is being unreasonable. Such derision is designed to conceal what a very poor idea, with all due respect for those the programs have benefited, that Medicare and Medicaid have been.



Last month John Stossell reported on 20/20 on Medicare’s $34 trillion in unfunded liabilities prompting me to realize that we, the taxpaying American public will have to pay for it.

One might also wonder how an estimated $68 billion (Yes, Billion) in Medicare fraud every year is even possible but look no farther than the fact that Medicare managers don't have to care how much is spent or how much is lost - they can always fall back on money from the taxpayer.  Private insurance companies spend between 10 and 20% of their administrative costs in efforts to prevent fraud because they have to profit to survive.  Research also suggests that roughly a third of Medicare's $400 billion annual spending goes to procedures which were medically unnecessary.

I wish for everyone to have access to health care but I oppose having everyone's money filtered through the unproductive cost center that government is before anyone gets a dime of medical assistance.  The only beings that could really benefit from such an arrangement would be those with the reins of government in their hands, who gain power, and the unions, which gain members since government is just about the only industry that has not shown a decrease in union membership.  That makes it about power for the union bosses too.

I would really like to be able to say that when people get government jobs they instantly become utterly incorruptible, fantastically efficient, and insufferably helpful.  Sadly the general result is exactly the opposite, with all due respect for those rare individuals who may take their government job with the utmost gravity.



Related Content:

The Healthcare System is Ill and the Facts Will Make You Sick - Alberto Arredondo
What's Wrong with Government Healthcare? - Richard Sutton
Risks and Opportunities - Richard Sutton


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