After all these years, listening to Rush Limbaugh, hollering back at the radio for three painful hours every day, I’ve finally capitulated and now agree that the loveable little fuzzball was right all along. So there. I said it.
It was the diatribe today that did it. Maha Rushie was ranting on about Hillary making “health care” a big issue in the presidential election. Dude was right. Government doesn’t belong in the healthcare business. That should be a civilian enterprise, like everything else, that is “governed” by the free market – the concept that made America what it is today. As Rush said, there’s really no difference in hotel prices and hospital prices. If left alone, without government interference, hospital pricing would adjust to the demands of the market.
For example, if a hotel has very high prices, then only the rich people can afford to stay there. The hotel has to make the business decision whether or not it is willing and able to survive on only that share of the market. If they keep their prices high, somebody else will come along and offer lodging at a better price. Then, there’s a place for the middle class guy to stay. The poor guy? What does he need a hotel for anyway? He can sleep in the dumpster behind the Waldorf, where that fat cat is staying. You don’t see the gumment interfering in the hotel business.
Or restaurants. There are those hoity-toity places with real tablecloths that serve you a wee little bit of food at insane prices. You know – the kind of places where movie stars and Donald Trump and Congressmen eat. For most everyone else, there are already places that don’t charge so much for their food. Some have open buffets, where even little kids can sneeze right into the boiled chicken while they’re scooping out more sprinkles to put on their complimentary after-dinner ice cream cones. You don’t have to be rich to eat at those places. That’s because somebody filled that niche in the market. That guy eats at the high-priced place, because he was a good businessman, and now he can afford to. The poor guy literally gets food dumped right on top of him, his wife & two kids, as they sleep in the dumpster behind that hotel. That’s what President Bush was talking about when he mentioned “People trying to put food on their family”. It’s even conceivable that he could collect enough deposit bottles to feed the fam once a week or so off the dollar menu at the local fast food joint. They got ‘em everywhere. So, you see, there’s really no need for government intervention in the restaurant business. The market takes care of it.
Rich guys – the ones who aren’t chauffeured around in limousines, can drive those cars that all us middle-age-crisis guys only wish we had. They cost too much for most people. But there are car companies who stepped in there and created affordable vehicles for the rest of us….except for the dumpster family. But, really, even if they had a car, they couldn’t afford to buy gasoline, so they’d probably end up moving into the car and living in luxury out there beside the street where they would be quite the eyesore and a considerable traffic hazard. So, it would be to the detriment of the rest of society if Uncle Sam was to dictate the price of vehicles…or gasoline for that matter. The free market works again.
So, what makes “healthcare” any different? If the medical profession prices themselves into a market share that only millionaires can afford, then that’s all the business they’ll get. How much money can one millionaire spend? After all, it ain’t like people have to go to the doctor. Some bright entrepreneur will come up with a chain of medical clinics – maybe supplemented by advertising on the thermometers and bed sheets – that the “average Joe” can afford. This will be to healthcare what the motel beside the freeway is to that high priced hotel in Manhattan. Maybe some old, outdated equipment… or better yet some brand new Chinese-made medical gadgets. Some un-approved pharmaceuticals imported from countries where children aren’t afraid to put in a good 18 hour day to see that us lazy Americans are kept healthy. Maybe the folks that made “D’s” in med school could work in these places. Think of all the jobs that could be created in the medical profession. Sure, there’s still hundreds of thousands of people who can’t afford to go, even here, but it is important to any economy that people die. What else is going to motivate that guy in the “Medical Express” lane to get over that gall bladder surgery and get back out there to work for the man whose wife is in the expensive hospital getting her lips blown up so she’ll look good in the Ferrari when the top’s down. It’s a beautiful thing – the free market system – that only gets uglied-up when the government gets involved.
Anybody with any sense knows the Federal Government should have only two functions: maintaining a military of adequate size and resources to invade and occupy any country our leaders see fit; and letting no-bid contracts to big construction companies to re-build those countries after we destroy them. Everything else can be handled by the free market system.
Thanks Rush. I needed that.
© 2007 Rick Baber