Megan McArdle: Health Care Cost Containment is the Laffer Curve of the Left..

Go read the whole thing:

…I’d say we have substantial empirical evidence that we are not going to control the health care cost inflation which is busting Medicare’s budget, much less the new costs the administration is planning to add.  We have been trying to control health care costs since the 1970s made it clear that Medicare was going to get really, really expensive.  And any idea that you care to name, from comparative effectiveness research to healthcare IT to preventive medicine . . . these have all been on the table for more than thirty years, under one name or another.  They haven’t happened.

The answer that those promising magical cost reductions need to ask is “Why haven’t they happened?” and “What has changed to make them feasible now?”  But when I ask this question, I get angry demands that I put forward my plan for cost control, rather than merely critiquing everyone else’s.  This seems rather like demanding that I put forward my design for a perpetual motion machine before I am allowed to point out problems in the US energy market.

They haven’t happened because lobbying groups put the kaibosh on it, and so will patients and physicians and facilities who spend billions covering uninsured at Uncle Sam’s request already, namely Baby Boomers who are about to see their Medicare bennies GUTTED under Team TOTUS’ proposed 600 Billion in cuts..they won’t stand for it and I don’t blame them. They are trying to redistribute health care as they are housing and transfer payments…take bens from the elderly and give them to the uninsured/underinsured. That is not the way to go and it will not succeed…it will be another house of cards to come tumbling down later…

To those who say, pretty reasonably, “Why not demonstrate that you can control these costs in Medicare before asking us to believe you can do it with a broader program?”  the response is something like a snapped, “But I don’t want to just control Medicare costs!  I want universal coverage!”  Ah.  Well, Republicans don’t want to maximize tax revenue; they want to cut taxes.  This does not make their now-deliberate wishful thinking any prettier.  Nor obligate the rest of us to fulfill their desire at the expense of sound budget policy.

Both Medicare cost control and Republican tax cuts are like the Red Queen’s strategy in Alice in Wonderland:  “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but never jam today”. They promise sweeteners to sell their favored policies, but when the day actually arrives, time and time again we’re left holding an empty jar….

June 17, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Taxes.

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