Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Glenn Reynolds, on how Obamacare will stifle medical progress

From the Washington Examiner, via WSJ:

"The normal critique of socialized medicine is to point out that people have to wait a long time for . . . treatments in places like Britain. And that's certainly a valid critique . . . .

The key point, though, is that these treatments didn't just come out of the blue. They were developed by drug companies and device makers who thought they had a good market for things that would make people feel better.

But under a national healthcare plan, the "market" will consist of whatever the bureaucrats are willing to buy. That means treatment for politically stylish diseases will get some money, but otherwise the main concern will be cost-control. More treatments, to bureaucrats, mean more costs . . . .

It's ironic that the same Democrats who were pushing the medical prospects for stem-cell research during the last election are now pushing a program that will make such progress far less likely."
I wouldn't necessarily term it ironic, Professor. I think it may be typical "progressive" short-sightedness in pursuit of a cherished agenda item.

Or maybe it's just flat-out ignorance.

Either way, it would not be out of character for these types, would it?


  1. The all too obvious problem with this "argument" is that people immediately recognize what is being described as undesirable with "government" health care as identical to their current health insurance. Reynolds is describing an ideological utopia that doesn't exist. My health care insurer already makes a market that "consists of whatever the bureaucrats are willing to buy."

  2. Your current health care insurer doesn't "make a market". It sells into a current market, and the terms of what it sells are set by the market demands.

    There are certain details that government bureaucrats at several levels require, but in no sense do they create a market.

    Under any public option, the bureaucrats and Uncle Sugar WILL make the entire market, and the terms and conditions of ALL that is sold under Obamacare will be set by the Obamacare bureaucrats, not by any insurer.

    There will be NO health insurance market created by insureds under the Obamacare proposal.

  3. Focus. As a purchaser of health services and products, my insurer makes a market, just as Reynolds was saying the government would make a market as a health care insurer; and, as Reynolds warns against, my health insurer put bureaucrats in between me and my consumption of health care service and products. Reynolds argument is specious.

  4. Whatever you say, Ace.

    You're the one who seems to think you understand something you don't. You clearly continue to not understand the point made by me and to mis-represent Reynolds' point.

    Your response indicates you haven't a clue about how "market making" works, let alone the concepts behind insurance.

    I can't help you with your basic lack of comprehension skills, which is also clearly evident here.

    This is the major reason you get no respect from anyone outside of your cozy little support group.