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Physicians Speak Out On Health Care Bill

Physicians jammed a town hall meeting in The Woodlands on Thursday, expressing fears about the cost and effectiveness of a health care reform bill that could come up for a vote in Congress as early as September. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, hosted the meeting attended by about 90 physicians at Memorial Hermann Hospital-The Woodlands. "The bottom line is that doctors don't want socialized medicine - another flawed health care system like Medicare. They don't believe it will lower the costs or improve quality," Brady said. "Medicare is already going bankrupt and not quality care. It also shifts medical costs onto other paying customers. It needs to be fixed first." - ChronCom

Dominant Social Theme: Doctors respond.

Free-Market Analysis: In the article above, we made the case that the current American town halls protesting the upcoming socialization of US health care were an example of spontaneous order - free-market human action. The article excerpted above makes the point that the health care debate is not merely noteworthy. It is also substantive.

We disagree. American health care is mostly socialized anyway. Sure, a complete government takeover might be worse than what the US has now, but maybe not. There are many uninsured under the current system. Maybe having everyone insured badly would be a step up from have some insured well and some insured not at all.

The point is... the current American system is as bad in its own way as the Canadian system and eventually almost as bad as the British system. It is dominated by a pharmaceutical model and extensively socialized through the inept and costly Medicare and Medicaid programs. One could even look at the debate as one in which government is merely trying to substitute more aggressive socialization for a less aggressive model. The only solution to the mess, from a free-market point of view, is to return to a free-market in health care.

It is no coincidence that the huge debates over social and economic policy that occur with increasing frequency in America did not happen with the same level of detail and malevolence a century ago. It is only after government gets involved in the provision of a good or service that large problems arise. This is because all laws and regulations fix prices. And price fixing inevitably generates a queue, rationing or shortages.

In the case of health, purposefully breaking the direct link between doctor and patient has engendered the larger problems faced today throughout the West. Used to be that the patient sought the services of a doctor and paid him or her directly for services rendered. There was nothing wrong with this state of affairs. If people were poor, the doctor likely provided a discount or services were not provided at all.

This is actually not much different than what happens under socialized health care where services are represented as available to all but in reality are not, or not without a long wait. The difference between socialized health care and regular health might be seen as one of rhetoric. With the free-market poor people have access to spotty services. Under socialized health care, poor people are the target of rhetoric that informs them that they have health care that is just as good as anyone else's. In fact, health care grows increasingly problematic under a socialized model.

Conclusion: We are trying to make the point here that the debate over health care in the United States is not nearly so important or meaningful as its methodology. As we pointed out in today's other article, the passion that has been aroused and the means of its organized expression is far more noteworthy from our point of view than the details of the debate itself. In the broadest context, American society has been leveling for a century without a formidable counter-insurgency. The Internet is what seems to have made a difference. The push-back may signify a turning point in the evolution of the new information technology. That may be the real significance.

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