Destroy the Malignancy of Price Controls on Medical Care

Lost in the efforts to repeal Obamacare is the fact that, even if it disappears, deterioration in the quality of care that Americans receive will continue. To date, discussion centers on financial and political matters, not the real problem which results from price controls on medical care: how can we be sure that when we are sick or injured, we will receive the quality medical care we need?

In the torrent of information which deluges the public, the problem of price controls is scarcely mentioned. Most writers in the medical policy community belong to a small group of academics, social scientists, economists and members of think tanks whose interests and expertise are in the financial rather than the medical aspects of healthcare. They lack the real-life experience to appreciate the effects of their recommendations on practicing physicians and their patients.

Doctors who know the problems are too busy coping with them to write about them. What follows is limited to “Medical Care,” which is what happens to us when we need a doctor or hospital. The quality of medical care determines whether we recover successfully, suffer needlessly or die prematurely. “Health Care” includes medical care and much more, such as pharmacies, public health, insurance, etc.

There is a consensus which is that our medical care system is very sick. A logical way to approach the problem is to do so as a competent physician would approach a patient suffering from a slow growing malignancy. First, we must be sure that we do not make the condition worse, by following the ancient medical maxim: “Most Important Do No Harm.” Government actions in the healthcare field have not only consistently violated this, but also are actually the basic cause of the disease they purport to cure.