Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stupid Arguments in the Health Care Reform Debate

This particularly stupid argument about health care reform was repeated by Senator Clinton:
"Markets in Medicine do not work, you cannot shop for a physician when you are having a heart attack...."
Of course not, dear Senator, you are so right. But then, we knew that already.
Nobody expects such a thing. You shop when you are healthy. You compare family physicians in your neighborhood and maybe a little bit beyond. You use the internet with the new tools that bring together basic info about physicians such as training, board certification, specialty, practice profile that includes ages, most common diagnoses, and of course prices for the most common services.
Mind you, these websites do not exist yet in this comprehensive form, but they will come. In addition, you might have journals and magazine such as consumer reports in the future as well.

You shop before something happens, when you are looking for a family physician and then you rely on this family physician for your choice of hospitals and specialists.
Why do anti-free-market advocates pretend that this is not possible?

Let's consider this:
Can you shop for a lawyer while the robber is holding you at gun point?
NO! Uhoh, time to socialize lawyers! Senator Clinton as a lawyer should be intimately acquainted with shopping for lawyers in a free market.
Very strangley indeed - laywers seem to be completely exempt from any talk about "nationalized law care" because "we cannot shop for lawyers when a robber holds us at gunpoint".

Another argument from the single minded is that supposedly there is "not enough information about physicians". Since there is not enough information, we cannot shop and consequently we outgh to nationalize health care. Hello?

Well, there is even less information about lawyers, so, hurry up, let's nationalize lawyers too!
Make an experiment: Next time you see a politician (most of them are lawyers) during a speech, ask him or her to support a bill to nationalize the legal system, so that everybody, truly eerybody has "acccess to law" and so that there is no more "law only for the rich". Now watch how well that goes over! Take the arguments why a nationalized legal system is complete nonsense in the eye of the politician, and, voila! Apply that to medicine.

Medicine is very comparable with law, in the sense that the average person does not understand too much of it's intricacies and details and therefore most people tend to leave it to professionals to guide them. What works fro law, works for medicine.

So, fans of socialized medicine, go on, socialize law - everybody deserves "rights". Is "lawcare" not a constitutional right? Should not the government make sure you and everybody else have equal access to rights, to lawyers etc? What a great field to start, so let's nationalize the legal system! All lawyers paid by the goverment, by fixed rates that are determined by some far away university commission, adn maybe they should be paid "by the case". And, just to make things equal to medicine, they should be forbidden to charge anything more that what the government pays them - ever. And, please institute pay for performance, now that you are at it....

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