Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obamacare myths and contradictions

The big argument in favor of Obamacare: while the legislation is flawed it has to be passed as it will improve on the existing healthcare system and just like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid it will get better and better over time. For legislation that will nationalize 1/6th of the economy and will most certainly dictate the terms and quality of your health care, how’s that for a closer?

Unfortunately, the aged-like-fine-wine conjecture is not extended to medical innovations. In the mind of the statist, a horrendously expensive and inefficient bureaucracy’s start-up costs must be ignored because the bureaucracy will most certainly wind up even more horrendously expensive and inefficient.

However, medical innovations that may be prohibitively expensive when first brought to market must be banned or rationed because of that expense, ignoring the fact that, if effective, capital will flow to fund further development of that technology in order to bring the costs down thus making it more affordable across the board.

Recall there was a time when polio vaccine was prohibitively expensive. How would you like a world where that vaccine was rationed, or worse, never allowed to come to market. The statist mindset, however, is not pliable enough to understand the rationalities of market forces and that is why Obamacare will be a complete disaster.

We purchased a 42” plasma hi-def television 5 yrs. ago for $4200. Just this past July, we purchased a state-of-technology LCD which represented a simultaneous leap in technology and quality as well as energy efficiency for $1800 (and if we we’re more “shoppers” than “buyers”, we probably could’ve got an even better deal).. So, in a span of 5 short years we purchased a technically superior and more environmentally friendly product for nearly 60% less. And one sees the same dynamic in computers and cell phones, as well.

Technological innovation happens.

Unfortunately, as we pointed out above, the statist mindset doesn’t believe the same market dynamic exists with medical innovation when it most certainly does.

When Obamacare proponents start talking about the morality of equality with respect to healthcare what they are talking about is expensive treatments that may be available to only a certain segment of the population and they will trot out this curious breed of individuals called “bioethists” to make the claim that rationing is the just and right thing to do.

Here’s some light cast upon the subject by bioethicist, Daniel Callahan:

"Cutting the use of technology will seem wrong—even immoral—to many."

Notice the reverse psychology that is implied. His going-in position is that rationing is desirable and that fact may confound you knaves out there in fly-over country, bless your hearts.

And this remains one of the most curious elements of the healthcare debate: Obamacare proponents will raise holy hell if anyone even suggests “death panels” or “rationing” and then in the very next breath will, straight-faced, tell us that rationed care is actually a desirable standard operating practice for your personal health.

Crappy healthcare for all!

Going back to the Terry Schiavo atrocity, we are finding the term “bioethist” to be the most ironic of terms in the most un-funny of ways.

B-Daddy has an excellent piece on medical technology innovation and advancement and rationing in Obamacare plus some more wisdom from Callahan that we encourage everyone to read, here.

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