Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama and the AMA

It’s a tough sell, to go in front of a group, and ask them to support policies that are going to cut their incomes, further bury them in red tape, have all of their key decisions made by some bureaucrats transferred over from the IRS and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and subject to second guessing from trial lawyers.

In the long term, the only way to reduce the costs of healthcare – short of the politically unpalatable combination of increasing supply, reducing regulation, and reigning in the trial lawyers – is to ration care.

Essentially, this means that fewer new discoveries are going to go to market, due to the huge costs of development and testing for new drugs, and the likelihood of capped payments to the pharmaceutical developers.

It also means that whatever care the government chooses to make available will be rationed via waiting lists. The inevitable corollary is that the politically connected will magically move up the list.

Once we’ve removed incentives to provide medical care, we’ll get less of it.