Lanterns: The Invisible Hand Versus Central Planning - Healthcare


The Invisible Hand Versus Central Planning - Healthcare

In regard to the current “tweaks” to socialized healthcare the GOP is working on, I want to suggest that the mistake is in believing, in the first place, that the solution to the market problem of healthcare and health insurance cost should come from government.  The uninformed electorate seems to believe that the government has been anointed with special gifts to resolve all of life’s problems and should be looked to for the solutions.  This is a fundamentally flawed and tragic view that is best covered in Frederick Hayek’s famous book, The Road to Serfdom.  Or as Milton Friedman says, the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.  – and that’s if you’re lucky – it’s usually far worse. 

Social Security and Medicare are often hailed by those without math skills as a fabulous success of a government overreach.  I have taken the time to analyze that claim and discovered that in my case if I had invested all of my contributions to Social Security I’d made over the past 42 years of labor into a DJIA index fund, I would now have approximately 4 million dollars.  By contrast, if I beat the odds and live to 86 years of age, I will receive about $832,000.00 in Social Security benefits – the government calls that an “entitlement.”

While I recognize the healthcare and health insurance industries warrant some regulation and rules regarding interstate commerce and coverage, rules regarding coverage for pre-existing conditions, risk pools, and the like, it is simply not in the purview of government to manage the “money” side of this equation, and in my opinion a complete violation of the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution for government to do so. 

Finally, given that the US government has demonstrated a perpetual unwillingness to enforce its borders and therefore cannot even count the number of people it is proposing to insure, it is ludicrous for the government to manage this system by taxing the few to cover that uncountable multitude.  To do so is essentially slavery by another name. 

Whatever path government takes on this, please let it be one that reduces its own role to one within its constitutional boundaries and returns the problem, if there is one, to the market itself to solve.  Let me end with another quote from Milton Friedman: “The great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or in literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.”

Written by Clark Albritton

1 Responses

I am going to pick up some books this man, Friedman has written!

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