Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Single Payer Option " is a fallacious idea

Many people like the proposal for what is called the "single payer option". This is the foundation beneath most universal healthcare proposals. Part of the false allure of the "single payer option" is the idea of alleged efficiency. In other words, why have adminstrative costs among many private options when there would be greater efficiency with a "single payer" and therefore less administrative cost. This is WRONG. Let's get some clarity about the "single payer option".

1). People like the idea of the "single payer option" because they think that SOMEONE ELSE will pay for their healthcare; the government. This is tied to the dangerous myth of something called "government money". There is no such thing. Any money that the government has really comes from 3 sources; taxes, borrowing and currency creation. Taxes is money taken by FORCE from the private sector (taxpayers). Borrowing is receiving money today from others (such as the Federal Reserve or countries such as China) and must be paid for in the future (with future taxes). Currency creation means that the Federal Reserve (our central bank) creates money out of thin air and provides it to the federal government or other institutions (this results in inflation which is really a hidden tax paid by consumers).

2) The "single payer option" claim to efficiency is, at best, misleading. What "efficiency" it may or may not generate in adminstrative matters is entirely irrelevant since the single payer option's cost would sky-rocket because it tremenedously warps supply and demand for health goods & services. You see, those that favor the single payer option do so from a "static" point of view and not a "dynamic" point of view. The dynamic point of view takes into effect the changes in behavior that will undoubtedly result as a consequence of the single payer option. If the public believes that they are forced to pay for healthcare and that the government will ultimately provide for the service, then this will stimulate demand and increase consumption of healthcare services. However, it won't stimulate supply. Therefore, even if the alleged administrative savings do mireaculously show up, it wouldn't matter since over-stimulated demand for healthcare would drive costs much higher than expected.

In the private sector, costs are better contained than in any government scheme for obvious reasons. Any company that lets costs get out of control would face eventual bankruptcy. Government costs, however, are FORCED upon others such as current taxpayers, future taxpayers or consumers. In the event that government does contain costs, it can only do so by FORCED rationing. In the long run, government-run healthcare ultimately fails.