With all the fuss about TrumpCare and ObamaCare it is important to remember that the government has been iinterfering with medical care for over 100 years. Each law and every step increases costs and hassles while decreasing freedom and choices.
Since 1910, when Republican William Taft gave in to the American Medical Association’s lobbying efforts, most administrations have passed new healthcare regulations. With each new law or set of new regulations, restrictions on the healthcare market went further, until, at some point in the 1980s, people began to notice the cost of healthcare had skyrocketed.
This is not an accident. It’s by design.
As regulators allowed special interests to help design policy, everything from medical education to drugs became dominated by virtual monopolies that wouldn’t have otherwise existed if not for government’s notion that intervening in people’s lives is part of their job.
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But how did costs go up, and why didn’t this happen overnight?
It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon restricted the supply of hospitals by requiring institutions to provide a certificate-of-need.
Just a couple years later, in 1974, the president also strengthened unions for hospital workers by boosting pension protections, which raise the cost for both those who run hospitals and taxpayers in cases of institutions that rely on government subsidies. This move also helped force doctors who once owned and ran their own hospitals to merge into provider monopolies. These, in turn, are often only able to keep their doors open with the help of government subsidies.
This artificial restriction on healthcare access had yet another harsh consequence: overworked doctors.
And on and on and on… Maybe, just maybe, it might be time to return to the free system that worked so well for so long (so cheaply). Just a thought.
* The Caduceus was the staff carried by Hermes while he conducted departed souls to the Underworld. A strangely fitting symbol.