The Trump administration has withdrawn the 123 pages of confusion known as the American Health Care Act (Ryancare or RINOcare, Rc) from legislative consideration for the very sound reason that it was not going to pass the House of Representatives. This is a well-deserved defeat for the would-be rockers “Ryan and the RINO’s.” But it unfortunately leaves us with the 2,700 pages of confusion and deceit that is Obamacare.
Obamacare is now free to run its course to self-destruction (I am simply repeating the conventional wisdom here, I don’t know how). But this at least leaves open the possibility of eventually actually getting rid of the monster. But holding open this option comes with a price that is more than just horribly rising premiums and deductibles.
The Tanning Tax, the Tax on Prescription Medications, the Tax on Health Insurance Premiums, the Tax on Health Insurance Benefits, the Net Investment Income Tax, the Tax on over-the-counter medicines and the Medical Device Excise Tax, all hidden in Obamacare, would have been repealed.
But two killer provisions were retained in Rc, and are probably responsible for its demise. There would still have been penalties for non-coverage, and more importantly, the door to gun control via “health care” was left ajar.
I don’t want to go off on gun control here, but in every genocide of the 20-th century, the victims were disarmed. As are the ordinary citizens of Europe today.
Today’s exorbitant cost of medical care was not unforeseeable. (I told as much to my boss at the RAND Corporation back in 1972, and was informed that, on the contrary, costs would not rise since the customer (in this case the federal government) was always right)
Here’s the problem. Econ 1: The less people have to pay for something, the more they will consume of it. Put a low fee, or no fee, on medical care, and most people will avail themselves of it generously; some of lots and lots.
The fact that they are going to have to pay for the care through higher taxes does not restrain demand, because the taxes are going to have to be paid anyway, whether you get that expensive test or not. And maybe you can get out of the taxes by having someone else pay them!
We’ve dumped bizillions into medical research and development, and painted ourselves into a corner. There are now many, many exotic and very expensive medical procedures available; procedures that would not have been generated by the market alone. But now that they’re available, anyone who could benefit from a procedure becomes a demander of the procedure; because it exists. Notice how few are clamoring for procedures that don’t exist?
There simply isn’t enough medical care in existence to give everyone always all of the care they might want. So, of necessity, if the government is in charge, there will be “rationing” – i.e. death panels. And that, in part, is what Obamacare, or any government care, is about. The care will have to be rationed out. And government, that loves power, will have the people by the throat.
In contrast, the market “rations” by charging money for care. “How horrible!” Not compared to government care.
Economists have long been working to measure the dollar value of a human life. (I kid you not) The task is ridiculous, but the numbers are there and will be used because they are there. “Is the remaining dollar value of this person at this age worth this medical expense?” This is what liberals call compassion.
“But if the government doesn’t provide health care, people are going to die.” Correct. As we all will whether or not the government provides health care. Only with government “care” the expiration date for many will be moved-up. (Remember UN Agenda 21 and its successors?)
Except for the prophet Elijah, and a couple of miracles in the bible, the death rate for those who have gone before us has proved to be one per person. (Though I myself am hoping to be raptured out of here)
I believe that today’s heightened, almost frantic in some quarters, concern with health care may to a great extent be attributable to the loss of Christian faith in society. Those who do not believe in heaven will cling ever more desperately to this life, even if miserable, because they believe that this is all there is. It’s this or nothing (or worse).
These days, especially in the realm of politics, we are frequently invited to solve problems that can’t be solved (e.g. the “Middle East Peace Process;” what a joke). It need not have been this way, but I fear that having moved medical care into the political arena has rendered it contentious beyond resolution. I hope I am wrong. But prepare to die.