Saturday, September 05, 2009

Why the argument that "we already ration" is bogus 
Liberals are fond of arguing that insurance companies already set limits on care, therefore it's fine for government to do the same thing. They are so stupid, they forget that they are making this argument in nearly the same breath as they deny the proposed existence of "death panels" whose purpose is to do exactly what they insist we already do, and what we must do to control costs, eliminate waste, and discover cost efficiencies.

Their argument is as stupid as they are, and that's saying something.

For proponents of a single-payor system, and ESPECIALLY for proponents of a system in which it is illegal to pay out of pocket for medical care, there is a HUGE difference between what the libtards falsely call "rationing."

In a private market, I am free to select my own menu of benefits and exclusions, deductibles, caps and limits. Case in point: One major carrier in my area, United Health, offers a standard $3 million dollar lifetime benefit cap. I can pay a little extra per month in premiums and enhance that lifetime cap to $5 million.

From the perspective of economic freedom and, I'll say it, basic human rights, between having my insurance company deny a claim and having the government deny treatment. Here it is:

My insurance company would tell me: "We're sorry, but this treatment is not covered by your plan. If you and your doctor want to do it, you are free to purchase it yourself. By the way, here's a list of in-network doctors. They offer discounts."

My government will tell me: "We're sorry, you may not get this treatment."**

Splash, out


**My current President will tell me, in so many words, "You may be better off taking the pain pill."

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I think the liberals are using the word "ration" as a sloppy shorthand for allocation of scarce resources, which is what markets do. Of course historically it's been shown that free markets are the most efficient way to allocate scarce resources, but I'm not sure this is the case here. The demand curve is damned near perfectly inelastic. Furthermore a purely free market would result in people dying simply because they didn't have enough money; an outcome which is politically unacceptable.

I think everyone in this debate, especially the liberals, are looking at the wrong side. They're talking about ways to manage demand when we should be talking about how to increase supply. I think this specific area, for the reasons I outlined above, would be an appropriate place to artificially stimulate the supply. The question becomes how to do that.
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