The Healthcare industry, or medical-industrial complex, wears the armor of Government-sponsored protectionism; chinked together by pieces of the tax code, The McCarren-Ferguson Act, Certificate of Need laws, Medicare billing regulations, HIPAA, HITECH, and the ACA.
You would be hard pressed to find a more entrenched, impenetrable cartel.
“…As for systems based on legalized plunder, Bastiat says:
As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose—that it may violate property instead of protecting it—then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legilstaures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.
Bastiat’s words are just as true today as when he wrote them with a quill pen in 19th-century France. How much of the clamoring, bickering, and anger we see today is the result of factions, each vying for their preferred forms of taxation or economic protection?”
From an economic perspective, it certainly is true that this new system is “disorganized” and “a disservice” and an “insult to our intelligence.” Those same words could be used to describe the welfare state, the EEOC, farm subsidies, the tax code, and just about everything else the government does.
But there’s one group of people who are laughing all the way to the bank, The lobbyists, consultants, fixers, and other denizens of the swamp are getting rich. Whether they’re preparing the applications, lobbying for the applications, or lobbying against the applications, they are getting big paychecks.
And the longer this sordid protectionist process continues, we will see a repeat of what happened with Obamacare as senior-level people in government move through the revolving door so they can get lucrative contracts to help clients manipulate the system (yes, Republicans can be just as sleazy as Democrats).
I very much suspect Obama partisans and Trump partisans won’t like this column, but the sad reality is that both Obamacare and Trump’s protectionism have a lot in common.
In both cases, government is limiting the freedom of buyers and sellers to engage in unfettered exchange.
In both cases, the fiscal burden of government increases.
In both cases, politicians misuse statistics to expand the size and scope of government.
Today, let’s add another item to that list.
In both cases, the Washington swamp wins thanks to increased cronyism and corruption.
To see what I mean, let’s travel back in time to 2011. I wrote a column about Obamacare and cited some very persuasive arguments by Tim Carney that government-run healthcare (or, to be more accurate, expanded government control of healthcare) was creating a feeding frenzy for additional sleaze in Washington.
Congress imposes mandates on other entities, but gives bureaucrats the…
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