Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Miller on the Lack of Free Lunch for Health Care

My friend and colleague Tracy Miller has another excellent blog post on the implications of reality for health care provision. The facts of life are such that all economic goods, including health care, are scarce and therefore producing and obtaining them necessarily incur costs. This fact is due to the nature of the created order and can not be wished away by policy makers by fiat.

Miller received an email from the daughter of our Congresswoman who voted for ObamaCare. 

In the email she explained that because of Health Care Reform, which her mother supported, she no longer had to pay a $25 co pay for each prenatal appointment. This will save a family “that lives paycheck to paycheck” over $500 per year. Such savings makes healthcare reform sound like a wonderful gift until you stop to reflect- who pays the $25 that the consumer no longer has to pay each time she visits the doctor? The answer: for those who have health insurance, the elimination of copayments will mean higher premiums. In other words, paychecks will become smaller as insurance rates rise to cover this new government mandate.

The point is that whenever a good is provided, someone has to pay the cost. No scarce goods are ultimately free.

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