Friday, August 7, 2009

Health-care Reform Fallacies

I'd like to share two podcasts and an article on the fallacies surrounding our president's latest attempt to "reform" the health-care industry. It is imperative that we educate ourselves on this issue if we don't want to end up like Canada or Great Britain where hospital procedure wait times average 25 weeks and where only animals and people wealthy enough to travel to the US receive first-class medical-care.

The first podcast is from the recent Mises University, held at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It is a lesson given by Walter Block and is excellent. He explains things in terms everyone can understand. This podcast can be downloaded by right-clicking here, and clicking "Save link as".

The second podcast and article are by the Foundation for Economic Education and feature Freeman editor-in-chief Sheldon Richman. The podcast can be downloaded like the above here. The article is the latest from Mr. Richman, found here. An excerpt:
The New York Times points out that the reformers have two conflicting ostensible goals: “to expand health coverage to nearly all Americans while reducing the growth of health spending.” How can they do both? Obama goes back and forth between stressing universal coverage and cost containment, but he doesn’t discuss one in relation to the other. Newly subsidized coverage will bring new demand for medical services and put more upward pressure on prices. As noted, higher prices can be counteracted only by denying service (say, hip replacements for octogenarians) or by imposing price controls, overtly or covertly.

Why is it government’s business how much we spend on medical services anyway? Government’s only concern should be to eliminate the ways it interferes with and influences our choices. The aggregate cost of our freely chosen actions is our concern alone, not the government’s.

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