Healthcare in this Country


What is the issue in Healthcare?


In the video at right, Gov. Daniels does a nice job of discussing the distortions in the market place. 


As PJ O'Rourke has said:  if you want to make something cost a lot, make it free.  


The current response to reforming healthcare is not reform, but adding fuel to the original causes.


What we have is a cost issue, not a coverage issue.   The coverage problem we have is the result of high costs.  Why has healthcare costs gone from 5% of GDP in the 60's to over 18% now, while food has gone from 17% in the 60's to around 5% now?   What makes healthcare take on the special status it has.   Some see healthcare as a right, when they do not see food as a right.   Somehow this position is because food is affordable.   Healthcare is a superior good, meaning as the GDP rises so does the percentage of that good.   However the competitive pressures are going away, so the market force of competition, which worked wonders on delivery and goods and costs, is not present in healthcare. 


The video at right points out the ironies in ObamaCare which are as comical as some are absurd.  One could add to this list the bad implications for medical research, medical devices (as the associated companies will be taxed on sales and will are moving out of the country), and the 150 boards deciding who gets what - it is a giant bureaucracy that will further reduce any market pressure for competition and therefore cost containment.  


In the links at upper left, these and other topics and even proposals that are still valid today.   There are many instances currently working that could easily contribute to a 50% reduction in healthcare costs, but the incentives for applying this best practice have not been there, and are becoming worse under ObamaCare. 


The slogans we hear more often in the past few years is "not to put dollars or profits ahead of people" or "remove profits and provide healthcare."  All of these like perspectives give a picture of a zero sum.   In our era we are surrounded by instances of competition bringing on more innovation and price reduction.   We are literally swimming in this condition in the area of electronics and like technology.  Why cannot healthcare in our country be the best at the lowest cost.   By many measures it is the best, but not the cheapest.  Why do so many not want competition and are afraid to celebrate success?  The outcome is the loss of life, and we have to recognize this reality. 


It is worth noting that ObamaCare, a unpopular notion now, in the summer of 2012, is a step towards single payer or the public option.   In this option government would define the healthcare options available and fundable.   This is nothing more than wage and price controls, which has the distinct history of raising prices