passage of last week’s bill, the American people are now the
unhappy recipients of Washington’s disastrous prescription
for healthcare “reform.” Congressional leaders relied
on highly dubious budget predictions, faulty market assumptions,
and outright fantasy to convince a slim majority that this major
expansion of government somehow will reduce federal spending. This
legislation is just the next step towards universal, single-payer
healthcare, which many see as a human right. Of course, this “right”
must be produced by the labor of other people, meaning theft and
coercion by government is necessary to produce and distribute it.
Those who understand
Austrian economic theory know that this new model of healthcare
will cause major problems down the road, as it has in every nation
that ignores economic realities. The more government involves itself
in medicine, the worse healthcare will get: quality of care will
diminish as the system struggles to contain rising costs, while
shortages and long waiting times for treatment will become more
and more commonplace.
would happen if car insurance worked the way health insurance does.
What if it was determined that gasoline was a right, and should
be covered by your car insurance policy? Perhaps every gas station
would have to hire a small army of bureaucrats to file reimbursement
claims to insurance companies for every tank of gas sold! What would
that kind of system do to the costs of running a gas station? How
would that affect the prices of both gasoline and car insurance?
Yet this is exactly the type of system Congress is now expanding
in health insurance. In a free market system, health insurance would
serve as true insurance against serious injuries or illness, not
as a convoluted system of third-party payments for routine doctor
visits and every minor illness.