Thomas Sowell gives some very sensible thoughts on health care reform in his latest column. Here are the first few paragraphs, which provide one of the most succinct summaries of the key issues that I’ve seen:
Most discussions of health care are like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
What is the biggest complaint about the current medical care situation? “It costs too much.” Yet one looks in vain for anything in the pending legislation that will lower those costs.
One of the biggest reasons for higher medical costs is that somebody else is paying those costs, whether an insurance company or the government. What is the politicians’ answer? To have more costs paid by insurance companies and the government.
Back when the “single payer” was the patient, people were more selective in what they spent their own money on. You went to a doctor when you had a broken leg but not necessarily every time you had the sniffles or a skin rash. But, when someone else is paying, that is when medical care gets over-used — and bureaucratic rationing is then imposed, to replace self-rationing.