All The News That Fits

Thought from Thomas Sowell

Posted by liloladenvers on June 30, 2009

I love reading Thomas Sowell’s columns.  He is brilliant, succinct and occasionally scathing.

His most recent column begins here.  Go to the link to read the full column:

Alice in Medical Care

Most political and media discussions of medical care have an air of unreality reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. There is an abundance of catch-phrases but remarkably few coherent arguments.

Let’s start at square one. Why is there alarm about American medical care? The most usual reason given is because its cost is high and rising.

That is certainly true. We were not spending nearly as much on high-tech medical procedures in the past because there were not nearly as many of them, and we were not spending anything at all on some of the new pharmaceutical drugs because they didn’t exist.

This general pattern is not peculiar to medical care. Cars didn’t cost nearly as much in the past, when they didn’t have air-conditioning, power steering and high-tech safety features. Homes were cheaper when they were smaller, had fewer bathrooms and lacked such conveniences as built-in microwave ovens.

We would like to have all these things without the rising costs that come with them. But only with medical care is such wishful thinking taken seriously, with government regarded as a sort of fairy godmother who will give us the benefits without the costs.

A cynic is said to be someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. If so, then it is political cynicism to point to other countries that spend less on medical care, including some countries where there is “universal health care” provided “free” by their governments.

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