Entrepreneurs and Single Payer Health Care?
I am a member of the New York Entrepreneur Meetup Group and I almost fell off my chair when I saw a group email suggesting that entrepreneurs should support single payer health care ( aka socialized medicine). Big government is certainly wonderful for those entrepreneurs who happen to be chosen as the recipients of government contracts. Who wouldn’t want sweetheart deals, free of competition and paid for by your compeitiors tax dollars? But it’s not great for the rest of us who have to actually provide the best product for the best price. It’s surely horrible for the consumer.
Here is my response and a link to an interesting article from Mises.org
I applaud Patrick Michaels’ compassion but his conclusion defies all laws of economics. Single Payer Health Care is a disaster for small business and a disaster for health care consumers..
Single Payer Health Care completely defeats the price system which is the only way the economy can effectively allocate resources. Real compassion requires that you recognize that the surest route to a healthy and wealthy economy is competition and free enterprise. This is a reality that much of the rest of the world has recognized and we can observe massive improvement in standards of living highly correlated with the amount of competition in the economies observed.
With single payer health care, you will still pay for health care – but you will pay for it with taxes. And you will certainly pay more. Taxes and regulation are the biggest enemies of entrepreneurship and Single Payer Health Care will significantly increase taxes and regulation. In addition single payer health care reduces choice in medical treatment, putting the health care machine in charge of your most personal decisions. The US has fairly good health care today because it remains to some extent a competitive system. The weaknesses in the US health care system are for the most part caused by government interference in the competitive system. For example, the dramatic increase in health care costs over the last few decades is the result of reduced competition in the market. That reduced competition results from the fact the the government is by far the largest buyer of health care. The government is an ineffective buyer because there is no incentive to be effective. Before the government became the largest buyer , health care was cheap and available. Doctors made house calls. After a few decades of government control health care is an expensive mess that threatens to bankrupt many state governments and most of Europe.
I have a personal example.
I bootstrapped my business starting in 1989. I was completely broke when I started but I was able to buy health insurance for $110/month. In about 1991 or so NY State passed the community rating law that required that “everyone pay the same” for health insurance. Here is my understanding of the result of that law: a healthy young man of approx 35 would pay the same rate as a 60 year old. My rates increased to $350/month which I could not afford. As a result I went for about 2 or 3 years with no health insurance at all.
Bigger and bigger government is not the solution to this problem. Taxes and regulation are the problem – not the solution. Entrepreneurs should seek free market approaches to problems on economic and on moral grounds. Efficient markets provide the best allocation of resources which reduces costs for everyone and provides the highest quality and widest choices. Forcing us all to rely on the least effective purchaser can only mean less effective allocation of resources, higher prices, less choice, more corruption and further dehumanization of the health care system.
As entrepreneurs, we are our civilization’s most potent asset for improving the human condition by creating jobs, improving standard of living and shaping a future full of human freedom. Don’t believe the hype – Single Payer Health Care is socialized medicine. When the rest of the world is rushing to achieve the benefits of free markets and competition, should we be rushing toward bigger and bigger government?
Here is just one of the many interesting articles that can be found at free market organizations such as mises.org of fee.org
Private Enterprise Grants us Life: William Anderson
William Anderson teaches at Frostburg State University