President Obama has proposed universal health care in a new bill, yet given the law of supply and demand, it will result not only in lower quality of health care, but also in rationing. Let us just suppose that President Obama’s health care proposal sails through Congress today and is signed into law this evening.
Tomorrow morning we will all wake up in a world where everyone is covered with some form of medical insurance, including the approximately 50 million Americans currently without health coverage. Yet, the number of doctors, nurses, and medical staff will be the same tomorrow as it is today. Likewise, there will be the same number of hospitals, doctors’ offices, and medical care facilities as there is today.
It is worth remembering that our medical professionals are already strained, waiting rooms are crowded, emergency rooms are already plagued by long waiting times, and it often takes days to get an appointment to see a doctor.
Giving an additional 50 million Americans immediate access to the same number of medical professionals and facilities will flood our health care facilities and doctors with new patients, putting further strain on an already strained system. The result will be longer waits, more crowded doctors’ offices and hospitals, and a general decrease in the level of care.
Increasing the number of Americans with health care is a noble goal and is being pursued with the greatest of intentions. But as it is said, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. There is no way around the fact that adding an additional 50 million people to the health care system will decrease the level of service being offered.
The current health care bill will succeed in giving more people health care, however it will result in much worse care for the over 80% of Americans who are currently covered.
This is an excellent example of the law of supply and demand. No matter what is done about health care, tomorrow’s supply of health care –the number of doctors, medical facilities, etc. – will be the same as today. Yet, implementing a nationalized health care system requires that tomorrow’s demand for health care increases dramatically. A sudden increase in demand without an increase in supply always leads to a shortage of the product in question.
In the free market, a shortage of goods causes prices for that good to increase to a level where those who cannot afford them are ‘crowded out’ of the market. The profit earned by the producers of the good encourages additional producers to enter the market. This creates an increase in supply and drops the price of the goods for all consumers. Under the President’s plan, however, demand will be raised without an increase in supply, whereby the government will be forced to allocate health care. When government bureaucrats make decisions on how goods and services should be allocated, rationing occurs.
Under the new government run health care system, the government will need to take measures to “keep costs low” in an effort to save American citizens money and prevent negative political fallout. While this also seems like a noble goal, the consequences will be devastating. Government mandated cost cutting measures also necessarily mean less profit for those who operate medical facilities.
Taking away the profit motive, will result in fewer people being willing to take risks and opening new medical facilities. Medical supply companies will be less willing to produce life saving medical devices, and the benefits of taking a medical education will diminish. The loss of profit motive will result in fewer services being shared among more consumers. This will lead to further rationing, rather than allowing market forces to make corrections.
Even the best of intentions can’t change facts. If Americans want to continue to have a decent health care system without government rationing, they must oppose universal health care coverage.
Please help me promote my site: