Category Archives: Medicine

How Government Helped Create the Coming Doctor Shortage, by Logan Albright

This article is good as far as it goes, but Logan Albright does not mention how Obamacare has increased many doctors’ administrative burdens and decreased their incomes. From Albright at mises.org:

For the last five years, attempts to reform America’s health care system have focused primarily on the demand side of the market, and specifically on the market for insurance. Yet, these reforms have not achieved significant improvements in health care outcomes, nor reductions in cost. As health care specialist John C. Goodman has pointed out in Forbes, the slowed growth of health care spending in the United States is a trend that correlates most closely with supply side reforms such as the availability of health savings accounts. Reductions in spending or costs are certainly not an effect of the Affordable Care Act.

One of the most critical supply side issues in health care is the supply of qualified doctors. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the number of doctors per capita is in decline for the first time in two generations, and the American Association of Medical Colleges has predicted a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians and 46,000 specialists by 2020.

In light of these statistics, it would seem prudent to adopt policies that streamline entry into the health care market, while keeping regulatory costs to a minimum. Regrettably, this is far from the case, with states erecting numerous barriers to would-be health care providers that contribute to the high prices and limited access currently set to cripple the American market. While some of these are familiar and even seem natural to most people, some of the ways in which governments act to restrict doctor supply will come as a surprise to many.

Monopolistic Medical Boards

We are generally brought up to believe that monopolies are bad. The very word conjures up images of tight-fisted tycoons in top hats and monocles squeezing employees and consumers alike for all they are worth. While natural monopolies resulting from superior business models get an unfairly bad rap, people’s capacity for critical thought seems to inexplicably switch off when confronted with those monopolies which are created and supported by government.

To continue reading: How Government Helped Create the Coming Doctor Shortage

 

Advertisements

He Said That? 7/19/17

From Voltaire (1694–1778), French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state:

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease

Obamacare Repeal Alone Can’t Fix America’s Busted Healthcare System, by Duane Norman

The problems of the American medical system, and the combination of government and insurance which pays for so much of it, go far beyond Obamacare. From Duane Norman at Free Market Shooter, fmshooter.com:

Obamacare “repeal and/or replace” has been the order of news lately; first, Republican Senators defeated President Trump’s healthcare bill, then they defeated Senator Mitch McConnell’s “repeal-in-two-years” alternative, leaving Americans stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.  Needless to say, President Trump was less than pleased with this recent development:

A clearly frustrated President Trump lambasted GOP senators at The White House this morning demanding that they cancel their August recess and not leave town until acting to repeal ObamaCare.

“We can repeal, but we should repeal and replace, and we shouldn’t leave town until this is complete — until this bill is on my desk,” the president told senators at the beginning of a lunch meeting at the White House.

“Any senator who votes against debate says you are fine with Obamacare,” Trump said.

Trump didn’t build our broken healthcare system, so if Republicans are unable and/or unwilling to pass a bill, he’s right not to “own” out of control healthcare costs

…and though the “repeal and replace” option was fraught with problems, and an outright repeal of Obamacare would have been the preferred outcome, it’s not a silver bullet that will fix what ails the US healthcare system.  Yes, Obamacare took a bad system and made it worse, but the law didn’t change the core principles defining insurer-provided healthcare, medicare, medicaid, and out-of-control doctor’s bills.

To continue reading: Obamacare Repeal Alone Can’t Fix America’s Busted Healthcare System

The Evil Genius of Obamacare, by Bill Bonner

People want the very best medical care money can buy, as long as they don’t have to pay for it. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

POITOU, FRANCE – “GOP reeling after healthcare collapse,” reads a headline on a political website.

From The Hill:

Republicans offered competing ideas for what to do next on healthcare Monday night, now that the current ObamaCare replacement effort has fallen apart.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged late Monday that the chamber’s current approach would fail after two more senators announced opposition to the current healthcare draft.

Sacred Work

Yes, the Senate took up its sacred work this week: getting re-elected. In the camera or out of it, the pols face two great threats.

On one side are the zombies, folks dependent on the feds who trade their votes for small handouts. Within the next 10 years, there will be more than 200 million of these people – if they ever rise up, there will be more than enough to unhorse every senator in Washington.

On the other side are the Deep State cronies. Fewer in number but vastly better supplied with cash and connections, cronies are dangerous.

If they don’t get what they want, they could unleash their attack dogs and throw a little red meat (indiscretions… uncovered and traded for favors by America’s 17 different “security” agencies) to the ravenous press.

They could bankroll another candidate back home… or withdraw invitations to speak, lobby, and join cushy boards and think tanks.

Cronies and zombies have more or less the same objective: to keep the medical care bamboozle – which is programmed to double in size in the next 10 years – in business.

Many senators rightly saw that the proposal to tinker with it wouldn’t have made much difference in the big scheme of things. It would only trim spending over the decade from $8.2 trillion to $7.7 trillion.

The system will go broke even with the proposed changes. Better not to touch it at all, they reason, rather than risk the ire of voters or insiders.

To continue reading: The Evil Genius of Obamacare

GOP Rallies Behind Idiotic Bill, by Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter says the GOP would be better off not killing off Obamacare, which is dying of its own accord, but instead just letting market mechanisms work to remedy Obamacare’s many deficiencies. From Coulter at anncoulter.com:

Republicans are about to do something very stupid. Using bribery, threats and cajolery, they intend to pass a catastrophically unpopular bill on a party-line vote.

GOP: Obamacare is unpopular, so let’s pass a new health care bill that’s even MORE unpopular.

Normal Person: Why would you do that?

GOP: No, you don’t understand. Obamacare is totally imploding, so if we pass this bill now, all its problems will be blamed on us!

Republicans would be better off doing nothing. They can survive the ridicule for running against Obamacare through four election cycles and then not repealing it. They cannot survive a bill that does nothing to fix the actual problems with Obamacare.

The only explanation for the GOP doing something so stupid and unpopular is that it’s all about tax cuts.

Why can’t we get it through their heads that we didn’t elect Trump to cut taxes? Forty-five percent of people don’t pay any federal income tax — and they voted for Trump! Taxes on high earners (or “Hillary voters”) are at a historic low.

Here’s a somewhat more important issue I’d like to submit for Republicans’ consideration: PEOPLE CAN’T BUY HEALTH INSURANCE THEY WANT, CAN’T SEE THE DOCTORS THEY WANT AND CAN’T AFFORD THEIR PREMIUMS AND DEDUCTIBLES.

How about allowing people the option of buying insurance that doesn’t cover sex change operations, gambling addictions, psychotherapy, liver transplants for illegal aliens and so on?

Instead of squandering this moment, Trump the businessman should seize it to trumpet the free market. This is a golden opportunity to give a speech explaining why, contrary to everything your professors told you, communism doesn’t work. To paraphrase Talleyrand, what Republicans are doing with Obamacare is worse than a crime; it’s a mistake.

To continue reading: GOP Rallies Behind Idiotic Bill

He Said That? 7/2/17

From Thomas Sowell (born 1930) American economist and political commentator, Ever Wonder Why? and Other Controversial Essays (2006):

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer “universal health care.”

Republican Healthcare Plan Fails the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Test’ by Ron Paul

Government-run health care is being touted as necessary to ensure everyone, especially the children, get health care. Governments reduce both the quantiy and quality, and increase the cost, of what they provide versus what would be available in private markets. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

This week the Senate Republican leadership unveiled its Obamacare replacement plan. Like its House counterpart, the misnamed Senate plan retains most of Obamacare’s core features.

Both the House and Senate plans allow states to obtain waivers providing relief from some Obamacare mandates, although the waivers in both bills are too restrictive to be of much value. For example, the Senate’s bill does not allow states to have waived two of Obamacare’s most destructive mandates — guaranteed issue and community ratings.

The healthcare debate is dominated by emotional rhetoric about how government-run healthcare is necessary to protect the vulnerable. For example, in May, Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel delivered a touching monologue about his newborn son’s open-heart surgery. Mr. Kimmel ended his monologue with a plea to retain Obamacare so all children can obtain life-saving treatment. After the monologue became a national sensation, many suggested that any Obamacare replacement plan be judged by a “Jimmy Kimmel test.”

Every decent human being supports a healthcare system that ensures children have access to medical care. However, this does not mean every decent person should support government-run healthcare. In fact decent people should oppose all forms of nationalized medicine.

Government intervention in healthcare distorts the marketplace with mandates, subsidies, and price controls. As is the case with any goods or services, price controls in healthcare result in shortages and even price increases as providers look for ways to offset their losses caused by the controls. This is why many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket under Obamacare.

Government-run healthcare can be deadly. Anyone who doubts this should consider the case of Laura Hillier, an 18 year-old Canadian who passed away from leukemia while on a government medical treatment wait list. This is one of many horror stories from Canada, and other countries with nationalized healthcare, of individuals who died while waiting for their turn to receive medical treatment.

One need not look to Canada to find casualties of government intervention in healthcare. In 2013 Sarah Murnaghan, a ten-year-old cystic fibrosis patient, almost died because of federal rules forbidding children her age from receiving organ transplants. Public outcry eventually forced the government to allow Sarah to receive the transplant, but how many Sarahs have died because of government organ transplant rules?

To continue reading: Republican Healthcare Plan Fails the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Test’