Shayne Wissler
“… to understand is, above all, to unify.” – Albert Camus

On Insane Medical Costs (or: ObamaCare is not the problem)

November 20 2015

Hypothetical:


  1. Government hands the whole nation’s water supply to a band of cartels, who control various aspects of collection, purification, and distribution. To enforce the cartel, whenever anyone tried to collect, purify, or distribute their own water, they’d be given heavy fines and prison sentences. Those suspected of collecting rainwater on their own properties would be subject to no-knock raids. And so on.
  2. Over decades, the cartels slowly ratchet up the price (intentionally or through incompetence), so that eventually, water that was less than a penny a gallon now costs $1 per gallon. The poor, since they can only afford weekly baths in filthy water, begin to die of illnesses created by lack of proper hygiene. The homeless even begin to die of thirst. The middle class sees a small erosion of their wealth, but not enough to get too upset about.
  3. Some of the middle class start to feel guilty about the suffering of the poor, and a politician now has the political capital to create “WaterCare” – a system whereby the poor won’t die of thirst. This system promises to keep water prices about the same while at the same time helping the poor.
  4. Due to various generally unanticipated but predictable consequences, general costs to a middle class individual rise to $10 per gallon.
  5. Large sections of the middle class, now actually feeling the pinch of overpriced water themselves, become outraged. Curiously, they aren’t outraged over the cartelization of water, they just want to go back to a time when the poor were dying of thirst (they don’t put it that way or like to think of these consequences, but that’s what it means.) The reason for their failure to trace the problem to its actual roots is that, after so many decades of cartelization, they take it as an unquestionable axiom of their existence that the cartel is a kind of benevolent priest class, one that anoints the water and makes it safe. They are now far too brainwashed to listen to anyone who has the obvious solution to the high prices: abolish the monopoly privileges that government has granted to the water cartels.

Do the people in the above scenario seem to you as if they’ve lost their minds? Because that’s how those who either cling to or whine about ObamaCare appear to me. It’s how everyone who complains about the cost or quality of medical care looks, when they also refuse to think extremely diligently and seriously about abolishing patents, the FDA, the DEA, the government licensure of medicine[1][2], and so on.

But as for the whiners, they are a special breed of hypocrite. If you hate ObamaCare but support the cartelization of medicine, then you are a destroyer of the ability of people to provide medical care for themselves. There is a name for making those who have caused injury compensate the victims: Justice. So don’t whine when the government makes you pay for costs you have created for your victims. You should be ashamed of, and happy to pay for, your crimes against them, not outraged. You’re more responsible for the disaster that is American medicine than ObamaCare could ever be.

Advocate for the right things. We begin by advocating for the repeal of the cartels’ monopoly privileges. You don’t have to close the doors of these cartels outright. On the contrary, that would cause unnecessary transitional pain. Simply legalize non-fraudulent purveying of health services, devices, and drugs by all adults. Allow all adults to create, take, or sell any drug or medical device they want. Stop pretending that it’s a medical advance to attack someone for helping himself or others without government approval, when really that is a political tactic not a medical advance, and really reflects the political regression to uncivilized barbarism.

For those who think my views are “extreme”, they are, but only in the sense that sanity and clarity of mind, when compared to various degrees of psychosis and confusion, are “extreme”. What’s truly extreme, in the sense of being extremely wicked, is the totalitarian control of our health by medical cartels. We have been acclimated to the cartels, to regard them as a normal status quo, but when viewed from the right perspective, they are a preposterous, insane intrusion upon our natural liberty. Indeed, they attack the very core of our liberty: the right to govern our own bodies.

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom.”

— Benjamin Rush
  1. Interrelated with the cartelization of education. Note that in this environment, it is not doctors or teachers who most profit, it is a new class of bureaucrats. Also see MBA and its close cousin the Apparatchik. A system of arbitrary and complex laws needs an administrator class to navigate the insanity, and also, of course, an army of lawyers.

  2. 100 Years of Market Distortions, by Greg Scandlen. (The author gave me his permission to host his article here.)