Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thoughts on Health Reform

I just posted some thoughts on health reform on Raquel Okyay's blog.

Health care costs started going up within a decade after establishment of two government programs: Medicare and Medicaid. In the rest of the world government limits the amount of testing and the kinds of operations people can get. In America, socialists dominate the public health schools and the literature on health reform. They do not consider the effects of socialism on innovation and downplay the interaction of socialism and rationing.

1. Most medical innovation has occurred in the United States, which is also the only nation with anything resembling a free market in health care. If America goes the way of Europe, then what will happen to medical innovation world wide? This issue is not discussed in the academic literature on health reform, and no Democratic Party media has had the competence to ask this question.

2. Excessive use of health services is stimulated by tax exemption of health benefits. This is further magnified by government-paid benefits. Furthermore, third party payers and what economists call information asymmetries stimulate demand (that is, doctors demand excessive services because they are shielded from competition by government-enforced licensing that was established in the early twentieth century).

3. Health care is one of several government-dominated fields that have not globalized and so have had costs increasing more rapidly than general inflation. These include higher education and government services (including lower education) as well as health care. What does college tuition have in common with fixing your kid's broken arm? Both are prevented from being globalized by government regulation and both are dominated by government. As a result, both have rapidly escalating costs.

4. Health services can be globalized just like other products and services. An operation done in India or Mexico costs one tenth of what it costs here.

5. Many Americans are willing to pay 10% of gross national product to satisfy the narrow-minded, chauvinistic belief that American doctors are better than Indian doctors and so globalization of health services is an absurd idea. I disagree.

6. In my region and yours, Kingston, NY and New Paltz, NY, virtually all of the physicians were born in India, Arabia and other countries that are likely suspects for health care globalization. Hence, the chauvinism is based on illusion.

7. Globalized health care can be regulated through joint treaty. America's health providers are fully capable of developing quality systems equal to those in other industries such as Japanese car makers. If Toyota or General Electric can operate international organizations to capture low labor costs, why not hospitals?

8. The health care debate is fake. Since regulation and government programs cause rising costs, the debate starts from a false premise, that GOVERNMENT IS THE ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL. Government-run health care is a reactionary concept. Free market health care is an innovative, radical concept.

9. There is no need for health reform if regulation is scrapped and health companies are freed to globalize as companies in low cost, high quality industries have and high cost, low quality organizations in education, government and health care have not.

So long as the American people prefer chauvinism and regulation over affordable health care, I have little to more say to them about this topic except, as in most every field, their discussion is nonsensical and conducted by a bird-brained, Democratic Party media.

And I am tired of being forced at gunpoint to conform to the crappy services and stupid ideas of the violent Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans. If they like crappy health care, why can't they buy their own instead of forcing me to participate?


Raquel Okyay said...

I can't agree with you more Mitchell, and would like to add that the idea that a certain amount of practicing doctors who are providing health care to the majority of Americans, can add an additional 30 million people to its rolls, without rationing health care, is just absurd.

Plus, the federal government wants the authority to regulate reimbursement rates, rather than the market regulating rates. This is a nightmare for doctors, and if I was in college and one of the best and brightest of my class, I would no doubt head to law school, instead of medical school, for the simple reason that I could make alot more money being a lawyer than a doctor.

vakeraj said...

As the son of two immigrants from India, one of whom is (unfortunately) a VA physician, I agree with you 100%. I disagree to some extent about the globalization prospects for surgery or education- surgery sometimes requires an extensive recovery period, which people usually prefer to be close to home for. Also, most parents would be uncomfortable sending their child to a boarding school or university abroad. But the gist of your argument is correct. What you'll get out of the left is not rational arguments; it's appeal to emotion, a tug at your heartstrings. As Ayn Rand would say, "blankout!"