Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Problems With Free Healthcare Provided by Government-Run Healthcare Monopolies

The more money that has been spent on government-run healthcare, the less healthcare we have gotten. This kind of result is generally true of all government bureaucracies because of the absence of any market feedback mechanism. Since there are no profits in an accounting sense, by definition, in government, there is no mechanism for rewarding good performance and penalizing bad performance. In fact, in all government enterprises, exactly the opposite is true: bad performance (failure to achieve ostensible goals, or satisfy "customers") is typically rewarded with larger budgets. Failure to educate children leads to more money for government schools. Failure to reduce poverty leads to larger budgets for welfare state bureaucracies. This is guaranteed to happen with healthcare socialism as well.

All government-run healthcare monopolies, whether they are in Canada, the UK, or Cuba, experience an explosion of both cost and demand — since healthcare is "free." Socialized healthcare is not really free, of course; the true cost is merely hidden, since it is paid for by taxes. Costs always explode whenever the government gets involved, and governments always lie about it.

~Economist Tom DiLorenzo

8 Comments:

At 7/31/2009 1:05 AM, Blogger Boris said...

Don't forget the secondary and tertiary markets of corruption. I've lived there - Ukraine from 1983 to 1994. Government doctors were on the take, hospitals offered services to those giving bribes, and "medicine", when one could get it, ended up costing quite a bit more, and still went up to the highest bidder.

 
At 7/31/2009 10:56 AM, Blogger Size said...

Boris,

I was very sick before we immigrated and spent years in and out of Moscow hospitals in the 1970's. I can corroborate everything you said. I only eventually got access to real medical care that saved my life because I had an uncle who was a high ranking military surgeon and my great-grandfather was a popular lecturer at the medical institute.

In countries where government runs health care you have to know people and be prepared to bribe to get the health care our congress is making available only to themselves.

 
At 7/31/2009 11:00 AM, Blogger Boris said...

We used to have a saying in Ukraine - the only free thing in the world is cheese in a mousetrap.

 
At 7/31/2009 1:52 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Will Sen. Dodd go to Canada, England, or somewhere else that has single payer healthcare for his problem?

He is after all pushing socialized medicine for the rest of us...

 
At 8/01/2009 9:51 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

We keep poking fun at Canada, Britain, Cuba, Russia. There ARE examples of better "universal" health care. See France, Germany. I don't know if it's a route we wanna go, but it's better than emulating Britain!

 
At 8/01/2009 10:23 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP for South East England has the following you might want to consider: Americans! Don't copy the British healthcare system!

Personally I don't think Mr. Hannan would quibble to much with what Mr. DiLorenzo has to say...

 
At 8/01/2009 4:30 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

There ARE examples of better "universal" health care. See France, Germany. I don't know if it's a route we wanna go, but it's better than emulating Britain!

Singapore's system is even better. The country spends only 4% of GDP (less than half of France and Germany's expenditure), has health care outcomes slightly better than the U.S. has no wait lists.

 
At 8/01/2009 4:41 PM, Blogger Boris said...

Singapore has 3.1644 million citizens and it's a single city, with nowhere near the distribution challenges of the United States. Looking at them for tips on how to run our health care system would be like Marriott revising their business model after being awed by the efficiency of a one-off Bed & Breakfast.

 

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