Friday, July 31, 2009

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

We now have even more tangible evidence as to why socialized healthcare is a BAD IDEA. Sure, all anyone’s had to do is watch how many Canadians flee to America for healthcare treatment instead of using their lovely Canadian “free” healthcare, but the argument could always be made that Americans will do it better.

Now we can respond with a resounding: “Whatever.”

The problem with socialized healthcare is that the government is involved in the process. And if you want to know what will happen to you on healthcare, then look no further than the boondoggle that was (notice the past tense) the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Yes, that program lasted…a whole six days before the gum’ment realized they were running out of money to fund it.

Quote of the day: “If they [the government] can't administer a program like this, I'd be a little concerned about my health insurance.” – car salesman Rob Bojaryn (Source).

Here’s some more from the same article that the above quote appeared in, with emphasis added by me:

In a shocker, the government announced it would suspend the program at midnight because demand was too great.

On Thursday night we learned the program was only good until midnight, all because of a backlog of red tape. [Note: it’s not ALL because of red tape—ed.]

But the money may be running out faster than anyone imagined.
And this encapsulates the problems inherent in government “oversight” of the free market. 1) The government is run by people who have, by and large, never run a lemonade kiosk let alone a business. As a result, they 2) lack the ability to imagine all the relevant reactions to their dictums in a market situation. It wouldn’t have taken a marketing genius to realize that if you give people $4,500 for a car that’s worth $12.87 you’re gonna end up with a lot of worthless junk and not much money, but it does take a government official not to realize it. 3) Additionally, anything that government touches is covered in so much red tape it takes a machete, two flamethrowers, and an ancient Mayan treasure map just to get to the box containing your “prize.” If you look up “efficiency” in the dictionary, you won’t find “government” as a representation of that concept.

With all this in mind, you already know what will happen with socialized medicine. People are told they can get “free” healthcare. If people swamp the market with junk vehicles because they get a good deal, how much more so will they swamp hospitals when they’re told they get free healthcare? It’s a hypochondriac’s dream!

In 2010, this story will be written about healthcare, complete with sentences like: “In a shocker, the government announced it would suspend socialize healthcare at midnight because demand was too great.” And: “On Thursday night we learned the program was only good until midnight, all because of a backlog of red tape.” And: “But the money may be running out faster than anyone imagined.”

Because this is the inevitable result when you let government intrude into the free market.


  1. By the way, something I failed to notice when writing the above, is that the article claims: "With almost 23,000 deals already processed and tens of thousands more in the pipeline, it's possible the $1 billion allocated for the program might have already run out..."

    Yet 1,000,000,000 / 4,500 = 222,222. Assuming the maximum payoff, there should be enough money for more than 200,000 people. If there are "tens of thousands more in the pipeline" (not "hundreds of thousands more") to add to the 23,000 already done, I can't imagine that there have been even 100,000 people who've used this program.

    So a further question has got to be: where did all the money go? The $1 billion obviously isn't all being used to pay consumers. I daresay less than half of it is actually allocated to that purpose. Which means that we can be sure some goverment fat cat is getting loaded right now on the $500,000,000 just "floating" around right now...

    And one last thing. Remember the good ol' days when a billion dollars was a large sum of money?

  2. It should also be pointed out that the Canadian government officially makes me the taxpayer pay for all sorts of things like murder (abortions, unjust wars) and other free medical experiments (such as sex change operations etc.). The unfortunate thing is that a majority of Canadians still seem to think that “free” health care makes us a lot better than countries like the U.S.A. (which isn’t actually “free market’ but has a lot of government interventionism). The only bright spot is that they are allowing some types of private enterprise clinics now.

    Incidentally, I would say that monetarily the good ol’ days were back when money was as good as gold (because it was gold and silver) rather than this dross that we are given now (ink on paper is really valuable???? Isaiah 1:22 comes to mind here). Anyways, here are a few stories that you might be interested in looking at to see the fruit (all rotten) of this sort of interventionism.

  3. So what do you see as the ideal solution, then? Just unchain the doctors, insurance companies, and patients from gov't intervention, Ayn Rand style?

    I don't mean to sound flip, I'm just genuinely curious, especially since there are, I think, good reasons to mistrust health insurance companies in a big way

  4. Mathetes,

    I think "unchaining" them, as you've said, would definitely be an improvement. However, I think government still has a role to play: namely, to enforce the contracts consumers make with, say, insurance companies if such a company refuses to pay what they said they would do.

    In other words, government should exist to restrain and punish evil. Thus, if an insurance company says, "I will provide X if you pay Y per month" and then refuses to provide X, then government has an obligation to step in and force the company to meet their obligations.

    This is vastly different from having government run health care, mandating what treatments are valid, how much doctors can get paid, etc.

    A free market will always out-perform government. Ultimately, it would correct even when there are those who cheat the system; however, such correction tends to be slow, and usually doesn't provide justice to the person harmed. That, and ONLY that, is why government intervention is needed in enforcement of contracts.

  5. The primary issue here is not the cost of health care, which Obama is addressing. The primary issue, the one that needs reformed is, in my opinion, the insurance companies. From my personal experience, the insurance companies are dictating care and treatment. Who are they to think they know better than my doctor? Reform the bureaucracy and things will change. Socialized health care is not the answer.