Dispatches from a Small Business
Warren, you just don't get it.
Medical care is unlike any other good or service -- its marginal cost of production *decreases* per unit sold. So when the government gives free medical care to everyone, it will actually get cheaper as demand increases. It will be cheaper than free, because it will create jobs, some of which will be green. This is called "bending the curve." What part of "bending the curve" don't you get?
Besides, the real costs of health care are the evil monopolist antitrust-exempt insurance companies' profits. So we've made it the law that you have to buy more of their product. That will result in a huge savings.
re: Medical care is unlike any other good or service â€” its marginal cost of production *decreases* per unit sold.
Yes, anon. (trying to LOL, but getting caught in my throat). Health care is different from any other good. It has magical properties. It is not subject to the basic laws of economics. But, this bill is not really a collectivist healthcare bill
It's now truly every man for himself. The taxes hit the wealth producers who create the companies that provide the jobs. The pie will get smaller. Take it from an old Soviet immigrant - nobody can afford to be generous when it's a fight for a piece of an ever decreasing pie. Only the rubes don't understand that and will wander into the deep end to drown. The society I found when I moved here - one of community, generosity and optimism (mind, that's the impression I had compared to Europe and Russia in the 70'!) - will over time disintegrate into extreme materialism and selfishness.
My concern with all this talk of medical care shortages continues to be, "what about adding healthcare capacity...?" My point is this: If the US were to commit its treasury to tripling or quadrupling the number of physicians, nurses, hospitals, and support services in healthcare, then would that not result in more availability, more competition, and lower costs...? How to divide up scarce healthcare resources is really not the right question or approach to the problem. The better approach and question to ponder nationally is how to expand the availability of healthcare through expaned capacity? If the US were to commit the same number of dollars to expanding healthcare capacity as it does to waging war in far away locations, the nation would taking a step toward a more viable solution. If there is truly a shortage of healthcare in the US, then we should address that issue directly. Comments invited...
Mr. Willia, J. McKibbin: You must take off your Rose Colored Glasses.
If the US were to commit its treasury to tripling or quadrupling the number of physicians, nurses, hospitals, and support services in healthcare, then would that not result in more availability, more competition, and lower costsâ€¦?
It would result in more physician, nurses, etc. and a lot less of the economic activity that will need to be taxed to pay them. That will lead to inflation. Inflation can show up in two different ways - increased prices or shortages.
If we were to defund our entire military and stop subsidizing NATO, that would represent a small drop in the bucket of what would be required to fund all you can eat health care.
Meanwhile, how are we going to defend ourselves?
Either way, the country is cooked. Like past immigrants to this country, people from this country will be looking for brighter futures elsewhere in the world.
Who will become these new doctors, nurses, and such...and why?
Short of military-style draft or outright slavery, you will have to increase the compensation of doctors, nurses, and such above its current market rate to encourage more people to drop whatever it is they are doing today to enter the medical field.
That causes the price of each additional unit of healthcare delivered to go up.
We won't build real wealth in the country by giving each other more healthcare services. The jobs you create need to be paid for by some real wealth-producing companies or industries. We need to reduce the % of GDP represented by healthcare, not increase it.
Not everyone on the desert island can make a living fanning other strandees -- someone has to fish and harvest coconuts or everyone is going to starve.
Opponents of the new health care bill say it will result in rationing. If it is true that medicare/medicaid reimbursements to doctors and hospitals are going down then the result will be fewer doctors and hospitals treating our elderly population. Sometimes you have to look for the silver lining and this health care bill may be the answer to social security insolvency. Lack of treatment leads to shortened life expectancy, leads to lower social security payouts. Wallah, social security returns to solvency. There is also a side benefit on unemployment side as those old greeters at Walmart pass away making room for our undocumented guests from down south. W
I assume the anon first comment was sarcasm. It certainly wasn't economics.
William J. made an interesting proposal which deserves discussion. (I wish he hadn't dragged the wars into it. That strikes me as an attempt to wrap some cloak of greater morality around his words.)
Choosing war or medicine is also a logical fallacy - it implies spending money for medicine is better. That is usually true, but may be better to not spend for either.
The US governments at local, state, and federal levels are broke because whenever revenue increases they always spend it all. And when revenues decrease they spend more or, at least, they spend every dollar they can.
What we will end up doing is pulling more doctors and nurses out of third world countries. We'll grab the best and brightest students that some poor country has spent time and money to educate.
Look up jobs for Filipino and African nurses in the UK to see what I'm talking about...
Mr. McKibbin: Most NBA players are college grads. Now imagine hanging stethoscopes around those folks necks and seeking their help to cure your cancer. You go first.
Folks like you are the reason we have the various financial disasters we have in this country: everything ... ANYTHING ... can be solved with money. Enormous supplies of money. And when that doesn't work, and things turn worse, it's only because we didn't spend enough. Repeat endlessly, and you've got the formula for today's POS government that has never solved a problem throughout its entire existence. And never will.
In summary, there is no free ice cream.
Interesting point about going for broke and missing out on being a benign influence: http://www.frumforum.com/waterloo