Posted tagged ‘Obamacare’

Healthcare: Market Solutions vs. Bureaucratic Decrees

March 28, 2017

Modern thin line design concept for HEALTHCARE website banner. Vector illustration concept for healthcare diagnosis and treatment.

Our current battle over healthcare is being debated from a false premise. Most people have bought into the lie that healthcare is or should be a right. It isn’t a right as understood by most people. The right to keep and bare arms doesn’t mean someone else is obligated to supply a gun. The right to free speech  doesn’t mean someone else is obligated to supply a microphone, a stage and an audience. But for some reason we think a right to healthcare means someone is obligated to provide it.

The truth is healthcare is an economic good or service produced by individuals. These individuals own what they produce. It is their property. No one has a right to what someone else produces.

How can you gain possession of what someone else owns? 1) You can produce something they want and exchange it for what they have produced. 2) They may give it to you as a gift. 3) You can steal it. 4) You can have someone steal another persons production, exchange it for what you want, and have them give it to you indirectly. 5) You can have someone else steal it and give it to you directly.

Government intervention into the healthcare market, up to and including Obamacare, has been an incremental march away from the first two and toward the last two. Everyone knows that direct theft of another person’s property is unethical and immoral because it is illegal. But when we are one or two steps removed from the direct theft, for some reason we think it’s ethical and moral because government says it’s legal.

hand writing economic demand - supply graph on chalkboard

ECONOMIC REALITY OF HEALTHCARE

Healthcare is an economic good ruled by the laws of economics. Scarcity, subjective value, supply and demand are a few laws we need to look at in order to understand why government central planning isn’t the right process to ration the scarce good we call healthcare.

SCARCITY: Healthcare has to be produced. It is a scarce good. It isn’t like the air we breathe. Air doesn’t have to be produced by anyone. The abundant supply of air exists naturally. You might say the air I put in my tires Isn’t free. The air you put in your tires is first compressed and then forced into your tires. Compressed air has to be produced, therefore it is an economic good and not free like the air you breathe.

SUBJECTIVE VALUE: Everyone values healthcare differently. There is no objective value that can be placed on healthcare. The value for healthcare is subjective depending on each individual’s needs and wants. Both the demand for and the supply of healthcare is valued subjectively.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Since healthcare is scarce and valued subjectively, the law of supply and demand comes into play coordinating its production and consumption. The price reflects subjective valuations by individuals related to supply and demand. The subjective valuations at the existing price drives supply and demand to a new coordinating price.

The law of supply and demand states that more is demanded at a lower price than a higher price and more is supplied at higher price than a lower price. Price changes are constantly re-coordinating supply and demand according to the subjective valuations of individuals.

The supply of healthcare is limited by the scarcity of the resources, labor, capital and time needed to produce it. It is also limited by the demand for healthcare. If the demand for healthcare increases against a fixed supply, the price will go up in order to ration the scarce resource. As the price rises more resources, labor, capital, and time will be attracted to producing healthcare. As the supply increases to meet the higher demand a point will be reached where the price will stabilize and then decrease as supply outpaces demand.

The changing price sends information to consumers and producers about the scarcity of healthcare. These price changes are figured into the subjective valuations of how much each consumer will demand and how much each producer will supply.

Free market prices are the most efficient way to ration healthcare in a world of scarcity and subjective value.

government regulations, magnifier, pencil

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION INTO HEALTHCARE

Government mandated healthcare subsidies, taxes and regulations distort the prices that would normally exist in a free market. Consumers demands and producers supplies are going to change according to these distorted prices. A mismatch of the supply of and demand for these scarce resources is brought about by government intervention.

What did you think was going to happen when more consumers were brought into the market by the Obamacare individual mandate? Subsidies also increase demand. Prices were guaranteed to rise as demand was artificially increased.

What happens when prices for healthcare services paid by Medicare and Medicaid are fixed below what they would be in a free market? The supply of health care would decrease at these lower prices.

Obamacare created more demand and at the same time created the incentive to supply less. What happens to the price when more is demanded and less is supplied? Even though our politicians told us costs would go down under The Affordable Care Act, anyone who understood basic economics could have predicted which way the price would go. And that isn’t even including paying for the government bureaucracy needed to implement the ACA.

NOW WHAT?

The failure of the Republican repeal and replace bill is a good thing. The bill was just an exchange of a set of not quite as bad new government regulations for the existing bad government regulations. Their is only one way to reduce the cost of healthcare. Get rid of government subsidies, taxes and regulations. Unfortunately all Democrats and a majority of Republicans don’t understand basic economics.

Quoting Ludwig von Mises – “Economic history is a long record of Government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.

Republicans are also scared of political fall out when they get rid of healthcare entitlements. The Democrats and their accomplices in the main stream media will trot out all the sob stories of people whose ‘access’ to healthcare was taken away. Of course the MSM didn’t tell the stories of all the people who had their healthcare costs sky rocket under the ACA. These rising premiums paid for the increased costs and subsidies caused by government intervention.

Millions of families got crushed by the higher cost of healthcare. These were small businessmen and people who worked for small businesses in the more rural counties in America. These are the same people who were barely able to stay afloat when the economy crashed in 08. They cut their discretionary spending to the bone. Many had to use their savings and retirement accounts to make it through the recession.

When the Affordable Care Act was implemented after 2013 there was no spending left to cut to pay for the higher cost of healthcare. Wives had to go back to work just for the insurance. Men took second jobs for the same reason. These are the people in the swing states of Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, and the Democrat States of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who voted for Trump. He was their only hope. They literally couldn’t afford to vote for Hilary.

Fortunately market alternatives to Obamacare are starting to appear around the country.

Read Here- Direct Primary Care, A No-Insurance Model.

Read Here – Florida West Virginia Lawmakers Take Interest In Insurance Free Approach.

Read Here – Atlas MD, Wichita’s Premiere Cash-Only Clinic.

As the price of Obamacare goes higher the demand for Obamacare will decrease. This higher price will also bring about lower cost market alternatives to the Government run system. These alternatives will be outside of the system. We can call these free market alternatives as long as Government doesn’t try to shut them down with regulations. If they do try to shut them down they will then become black market alternatives (the new free market).

Fracking is an example of a market alternative to the OPEC cartel and our Governments regulations on drilling off shore and on public land. When the price of oil rose to above $110 dollars a barrel it became affordable for hydraulic fracturing to take off on private land. Now that it is profitable to frack at $45 a barrel the OPEC cartel has lost its monopoly power. The high price of $110 was what eventually brought the price of oil down. Healthcare will be no different. The market will find an alternative as the price goes higher.

Read Here – Trumpcare Defeat Could Be A Small But Important Victory For Healthcare Freedom.

Read Here – Ryancare Is Failing -What Should Happen Next?

Read Here – Forget Obamacare, Ryancare, And Any Future Reformcare – The Healthcare System Is Completely Broken.

Economic reality will end Obamacare. Let’s hope the Government doesn’t end the market alternatives that have started to take root.

 

Must Reads For The Week 3/11/17

March 12, 2017

ECONOMIC STUFF

Donald Trump and Peter Navarro Suffer From ‘Trade Deficit Disorder‘, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. Here is an excerpt form the article: “In his speech and op-ed, Navarro laid out Team Trump’s trade agenda that involves expanding US exports, reducing imports, and thereby reducing America’s merchandise trade deficit and supposedly therefore increasing our nation’s economic growth. Unfortunately, that’s a pure mercantilist trade agenda, which is an approach to trade that has been discredited now for several hundred years.

How Did Peter Navarro Ever Get A Ph.D In Economics From Harvard? economicpolicyjournal.com. Regular people being ignorant about economics is one thing. But having a Ph.D in economics and being economically ignorant is dangerous.

What Is Laissez-Faire? by Jeffery Tucker, at mises.ca. It simply means ‘Let it be’. A majority of people believe that complex order comes from top down planning by leaders possessing authority. It is inconceivable to them that unplanned order arises when people are allowed to manage their own lives and interact with others. Language is an example of complex spontaneous order. The rules of English were not written by someone and everyone started to follow them. People communicated with people and over time the ‘rules’ were established after discernible patterns (unwritten rules) were recognized. Attempts by Government central planners to control every aspect of society leads to chaos and conflict. Laissez-Faire. Please!

Repeal And Replace Needn’t Be Complicated, by Hunter Lewis, at mises.org. Do you use the term “healthcare system” or “healthcare market” when talking about ‘healthcare’. Most people talk about our “healthcare system”.  This shows we think of healthcare as a centrally planned system. The cost will never go down unless we see healthcare as an economic good rationed by prices in a market. Obamacare was 2500 pages of rules and regulations designed to ‘fix’ what was left of a healthcare market already encumbered by mountains of government regulations. The only ‘fix’ to our current “healthcare system” is to allow it to become a healthcare market. LAISSEZ-FAIRE! Get rid of all government regulations and a complex healthcare order will almost magically form itself. It won’t be a perfect order (nothing man does is perfect). But it will be the best that can possibly exist in a world of scarce resources and subjective value.

High Prices Don’t Cause Economic Bubbles, by Frank Shostak, at mises.org. When central banks increase the money supply (counterfeit money), scarce resources are misallocated to activities that would have never come into existence under normal market conditions. The 08 bubble was caused by the Fed electronically printing counterfeit money. It was not allowed to liquidate. More electronically printed counterfeit money was created to stop the correction. This counterfeit money has and is creating our present financial bubble. Excerpt from the article: “The emergence of a bubble or a monetary balloon need not be always associated with rising prices – for instance, if the rate of growth of goods corresponds to the rate of growth of the money supply then no change in prices will take place……what matters is not whether the emergence of a bubble is associated with price rises but rather with the fact that the emergence of a bubble gives rise to the emergence of non-productive activities that divert real wealth from wealth generators. The expansion of the money supply, or a monetary balloon, in similarity to a counterfeiter, enables the diversion of real wealth from wealth generating activities to non-productive activities.”

The Fed’s Dependence On The Consumer Will Backfire, by C. Jay Engel, at mises.org. Production is the creation of wealth and consumption is the destruction of wealth. Spending is consumption. Consumption is the destruction of what has been produced. Spending doesn’t grow an economy. We can only spend out of our own production. What we produce allows us to spend. Consumption has to lag behind production for an economy to grow. When consumption is increased by debt and money printing, we start a process where consumption is out pacing production. We start to eat our seed corn so to speak. Artificially increasing spending is a quick shot of adrenaline.  But it has no staying power.

 

CARTOONS

Must Reads For The Week 8/15/15

August 14, 2015

The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Fed Finally Figures Out Soaring Student Debt Is Reason For Exploding College Costs, at zerohedge.com. The Fed has figured out that when money, from debt and money printing, is injected into a particular area of the economy, it raises the price (creates a bubble). Does this revelation hold true for all of the Feds printed money that has gone into the stock market?

The Doctor Won’t See You Now, at Forbes.com.  The laws of economics will be strictly obeyed.  The money quote from the article, “Many exchange policies limit patients’ choices of doctors and hospitals in order to keep premiums down in the face of Obamacare’s intrusive regulations and costly mandates.”  Who could have predicted that?

Navajo Nation Vows To Hold EPA Accountable, at zerohedge.com.  The EPA is responsible for releasing 1 Million, 3 Million gallons of toxic waste water into Colorado’s Animus River.  Like all Government agencies they are currently blaming the contractor for the accident.  Tough luck for New Mexico and Utah who are downstream from the toxic release.  I haven’t heard a peep from the media or environmental groups about this.  I guess it’s neither illegal nor a big deal if the government does it.  I wish the Navajo nation good luck in any lawsuit.  It’s great to be the tyrant, king!

Did EPA Intentionally Poison Animus River To Secure SuperFund Money?, at zerohedge.com.  It appears that a retired geologist predicted that the EPA would foul the Animus River a week before it actually occurred.  The implications of his accusations are chilling.  Never let a good crisis go to waste?

The Battle Intensifies: Police Raid Uber’s Hong Kong Office, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Car Wars! Return of the Jitneys continues.  At this point, a rational government would realize they can’t put the genie back in the bottle.  Protecting special interests always trumps rationality but it can’t defeat the basic laws of economics.

Going Breadless in Venezuela, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Socialism and price controls rear their ugly head again as bread shortages are the new norm in Venezuela.  Weren’t there food riots last week?  Don’t they have a toilet paper shortage as well?  Hey, let them eat cake!  Sorry, that’s reserved for the rulers.

Minimum Wage Effect?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  January to June job losses for Seattle area restaurants reaches 1300.  While there are many reasons for declining employment, artificially raising the price of labor means you will have less of it.  Businesses must make adjustments to increased costs.  My guess is that one unintended consequence will be less tipping for servers.

China’s Currency Policy: Devastating Manipulation or a Form of Generous Foreign Aid to Americans?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  This is a very different take on China’s recent efforts to devalue their currency.  Government intervention in currency whether it is printing counterfeit money, zero point interest rates, fractional reserve banking, or devaluing will always have unforeseen and negative consequences.  As for devaluing currency, how do you jump off a cliff halfway?

The Disturbing Messages In Police Recruiting Videos, at The Washington Post.  You don’t have to watch all the videos to get the point.  Why would you stress violent confrontation in your recruiting videos?  Even the Marine Corps doesn’t do that and they have the best military recruiting videos bar none.  If it is part of the recruiting tactics then it is likely the emphasis of their training.  When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Make sure you check out the last recruiting video by the Decatur Alabama police.  Quite the difference!

Serfdom USA!, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Let’s end the week with some laughs.  This is for all of the true Austrian Economics Addicts out there.

 

Must Reads For The Week 5/9/15

May 8, 2015
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

ECONOMIC LESSONS ABOUT PRICE FLOORS AND CEILINGS

NYC Mayor: Lets Bomb New York City With Rent Controls, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Rent control is a price ceiling. When the price of rent is not allowed to go above what the price would be under normal market conditions, an artificial shortage is created. Less is supplied at a lower price than a higher price, and more is demanded at the lower price than a higher price, creating a shortage of housing and a surplus of renters. It’s simple supply and demand.

Robert Reich: Economic Malpractice On The Minimum Wage, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. A minimum wage law is a price floor that a wage can’t go below. Watch the difference between the explanation about the minimum wage from Robert Reich, and the explanation by the Kahn Academy. Robert Reich is trying to fool people who are economically ignorant. When a wage is set at a rate higher than what that labor produces, the demand for that labor will decrease, creating unemployment. Less labor will be demanded at a higher rate than a lower rate, and more labor will be supplied at a higher rate than a lower rate, creating a surplus of labor or a job shortage.

Meet The Hotel Robot That Will Battle Minimum Wage Hikes, at economicpolicyjournal.com. When a wage is set higher than what the labor produces, the labor will go away. Automation is one way this will happen. Robert Reich forgot to mention this as well as some other salient points.

Free market prices coordinate supply of and demand for scarce goods and services. Government price controls, like minimum wage laws and rent control laws, are interventions that are factored into the economic law of supply and demand. Government force can’t do away with the economic reality of scarcity, it can only distort the coordination process.

MORE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION

Ripple Labs Faces Fines From FinCEN, at payments.com. Ripple Labs is the first virtual currency exchanger to be fined by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The Government wants to keep its monopoly on money creation via the Federal Reserve, by making virtual currency providers comply with anti-money laundering laws. This is curious because the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve are running the biggest money laundering operation in the history of the world.

Obamacare Killer? Global Spending On Cancer Drugs Surges To $100 Billion, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Obamacare has taken over decision-making from what was left of a free market system in the healthcare system. Coordination of supply and demand through prices barely exists. Lobbying Government for protection and favors through Government decision-making is no way to run an industry, just ask the former USSR.

The Mysterious Source Of Surging Demand For GM Cars, Revealed, at zerohedge.com. The first trick to increase sales was channel stuffing. The second was subprime car loans. Now the Government has increased its purchases from Government Motors. Maybe it does pay to get into bed with the Government! They bailed GM out. They subsidised purchases of the Chevy Volt. Now they are buying cars, (for whom, I don’t know).

Government Using Subprime Mortgages To Pump Housing Recovery, Tax Payer Will Pay Again, at zerohedge.com. This didn’t end well last time, did it?

MISCELLANEOUS

Meet Three Kids Alive Today Thanks To 3D Printing, by Ashley Welch, at cbsnews.com. We are only scratching the surface of what can be done with 3D printing.

Creative Destruction: Newspaper Ad Revenue Continues Free Fall, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. The market (decisions by individuals), picks the most productive goods and services. I predict the print media will, at some point, ask for a Government bailout.

CNN Anchor, Chris Cuomo, Ignorant About The Constitution And Hate Speech, by Robby Soave, at reason.com. And Chris Cuomo has a law degree from Fordham University? He must have missed the class when they talked about the first amendment!

Hello Al Gore: Low Sun Spot Cycle Could Mean Another ‘Little Ice Age’, by Chriss Street, at americanthinker.com. Who would have ever thought that the sun is the most important factor when it comes to the earths temperature.

CARTOONS THAT MAKE YOU THINK

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https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/G3PgdMW.jpg

 

Must Reads For The Week 4/25/15

April 25, 2015
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

People Are Voting With There Feet, at washingtimes.com. In the last 10 years the population in over regulated states is decreasing and the population in states with more freedom is increasing.

Can You Solve This Moral Dilemma From A Real Job Interview, by Jason Stevens, at thefederalistpapers.org. One guy comes up with a creative solution. See if you’re this clever.

Two TSA Agents Fired For Pre-Planned Groping, at targetliberty.com. A couple of points. 1) I thought people turned in their pitch forks and horns for a halo when they became public servants? 2) Their union must not be very good because I’ve heard of union members jobs being protected for doing worse. 3) Whats the real difference between a, by the book pat down, and what these two did? Don’t you feel violated either way?

What Happened To Book Sales In Israel After A Year Of Price Controls And Minimum Payment Mandates To Authors, by Sharona Schwartz, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Anyone want to take a guess what happens with these price controls? Why do politicians and bureaucrats think that this time it will be different?

Stunned Greeks React To Initial Capital Controls And The Decree To Confiscate Reserves, And They Are Not Happy, at zerohedge.com. The Government mandated that any idle reserves be transferred to the Greek Central Bank for investment in short term state debt, (Isn’t that theft?). Something like this couldn’t happen here, could it?

DISGUSTING Republicans Vote To Hide Congress’s Obamacare Exemption, at targetliberty.com. The Senate Small Business Committee voted to not subpoena secret documents that show how the House and Senate members got an exemption from joining Obamacare exchanges. They think of themselves as the ruling aristocracy that doesn’t have to abide by the very rules they’ve forced us to obey.

Heal Wants To Be The “Uber” For Doctors Making House Calls, at targetliberty.com. This app brings doctors and patients together without any third party interference. Just as I’ve said before, Obamacare will create a free market for healthcare. Unfortunately the tax payer will have to fund both the free market system and Obamacare.

Regardless Of Obama Care, ‘Self Pay’ Primary Care Models Will Thrive, at selfpaypatient.com. This article explains that getting rid of third party pays is the way to go to fix healthcare. If Obamacare hadn’t passed, market realities would have started to fix the high cost of healthcare. Now we’re stuck with a huge Government program that tax payers will have to fund forever because Republicans don’t have the stones to get rid of it.

Get Ready For The ‘Achocolypse’: The World Is Running Out Of Chocolate, by Kate Taylor, at entrepreneur.com. A fungal disease and dry weather have cut the worlds coca supply by a third, at the same time world demand for chocolate is increasing. If prices are allowed to rise to ration this scarce resource, there won’t be a shortage, like the shortage of water that California is experiencing during this drought because of fixed prices. Read Prices Will Solve California’s Water Crisis.

Lets Laugh! Cartoons From theburningplatform.com.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

 

 

Net Neutrality?

February 26, 2015

Here is a video of The President talking about net neutrality.

Sounds like he really wants to protect us, the little guys, from big corporations doesn’t it. Why should we believe the man who pushed a bill titled, “The Affordable Care Act”? Obamacare has made individuals less free to choose how they want to pay for their healthcare. Insurance companies were for this law because they thought they would benefit from its passage. With the stroke of the pen, the law created 30 million more costumers for insurance companies. The fact that it expanded Governments power over the individual makes politicians and bureaucrats happy. But who among us wouldn’t want our power expanded? Is the term “Net Neutrality” any different from “The Affordable Care Act”.

You can bet your life that Net Neutrality regulations will make the internet less neutral, less free, and more expensive.

Net neutrality laws will help the already established tech companies and hurt the upstart competitors who, under normal market conditions, would normally be a check on the big providers. The threat of competitors trying to get market share keeps them in line. This is what Uber is doing to the taxi cartel. Big tech companies will be for this, or at least be tepid in their resistance to it. Once Government regulates the internet, these tech companies will be the protected cartel.

Politicians and bureaucrats will not only be able to tax the internet more easily, they will be able to make rules about content, access, and will probably make you get a license to have a website. Think of what bureaucrats (Lois Lerner) in the IRS did to stifle liberty minded groups from getting their message out. Politicians and bureaucrats are only in favor of free speech if they agree with what is said, they are never neutral when it comes to losing power.

Politicians and bureaucrats have been trying for years to figure out how to intervene into the internet. The internet is what has allowed our economy to grow in spite of the interventions by the Government and the Fed. Now, for some reason, the President and bureaucrats want to intervene into an area of the economy that has had exponential expansion without the “help” of Government regulations.

IS THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERNET COMING SOON?

DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED TYRANTS

Tyrants want to control information because truth is never on their side. Even democratically elected tyrants want to have the ability to control and/or propagandize their message. The internet is a marketplace where truth can be discovered, and lies can be uncovered, because of the volume of information that can be brought to bear almost immediately.

The President, the FCC, most democrats, and some republicans are showing their true tyrannical colors by supporting these regulations, but the internet Jeannie is out of the bottle. The marketplace will find ways to deliver this highly demanded economic good outside of these Government regulations. The tighter they squeeze, the more we will slip through their hands.

Related ArticleBeck Breaks Down What He Thinks Is The Real Goal Of Net Neutrality, at theblaze.com.

Related ArticleInternet Fast Lanes Would Be Banned Under Planned FCC Proposal, at entrepreneur.com.