Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Universal Health Care Universal Health Care

LAT, not surprisingly in an article: Going universal: The American healthcare system is, simply put, a mess, but we may finally be ready to fix it points at the problems we are facing right now with our health care system, but then the author waives his hands and pretends that universal health care is the solution. But it isn't. Given the choice of prompt and effective care, and universal care, most Americans are likely to opt for what they have now, as opposed to the examples of universal care that proponents can point to. Yes, it is expensive. But at least it is available.

The author seems enchanted with utopian dreams that if the proponents are just smart enough, they can prevent the debacles that other countries have experienced. But this is like the die-hard proponents of communism, when faced with its failures, explaining that it just wasn't tried the right way (implying that they and their kindred would and could make it work).

Part of the basic problem is that the demand for universal health care is at its core socialist. It expects that all will have equivalent coverage, regardless of ability and willingness to pay. That has any number of unintended consequences, including short circuiting (even more than now) any price signals in the market. Add to that that without the market controlling supply, demand is effectively unlimited. Of course, supply is not unlimited, so the result is that some other allocation mechanism is invariably required - invariably requiring government planning.

So, the author is willing to trade the best health care system in the world for his utopian socialist dreams. I am not.


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