My thoughts and prayers to the people of Chile….
The government cannot control what things cost. All the government can do is put a temporary, artificial cap on things. The market will decide what things cost, one way or another. In this regard, the government is stunningly powerless and ineffective.
From time to time, governments have tried “wage and price controls”, and in the very short term, these things work. But that doesn’t last long, and when the market figures how to maneuver around government controls (offshoring, outsourcing, providing benefits in lieu of wages, black markets, etc, etc) the costs always come back into overall, long term equilibrium.
So if anyone thinks that government can control health care costs, truly, get a clue. At the moment, what appears to be government control is simply market distortion. The government squeezes here, and the costs pop out over there. Walk into a hospital with a broken arm and pay out of your own pocket to get it fixed. Then compare that to what Medicare would pay the hospital. The politicians think they’re cutting a fat hog in the ass, but all they’re doing is creating yet another cost bubble.
This works for now, because there are obvious and easy places for the health care cost bubble to pop out. When the Administration gets its way and the government controls all health care in the U.S., the easy places for market forces to exert themselves will be sealed. Cost pressures will build up in the system, and will be relieved in some way or fashion, yet unimagined. Most likely will be that health care providers will leave the industry and go where their incomes are not capped by the government.
Don’t even mention Canada, England, France, or anywhere else with socialized medicine. The comparisons are so completely irrelevant that merely making the comparison calls the observer’s judgment and intelligencer into question. As I’ve said before, in France they will ban religious garb if they judge it necessary to preserve their native culture. When someone here is willing to do that, then they are talking about a social and cultural environment that will support socialized medicine. If not, please, simply leave it alone.
Hide and watch, no one in power will realize that government price controls won’t work until it’s too late. We are living through a period of time that will be a classic example for history and economics students in the future. It’s hard to believe that supposedly educated people can be so dumb. I’m barely a high school graduate and I understand why the Soviet Union collapsed (and it wasn’t Ronald Reagan), gheeesh.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America.