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Only competition lowers prices naturally, not the government

  • Published in Letters
To the editor,
Johan Andersen of Gilford wrote recently on health care and its costs. His thinking typifies the same "lost in outer space" logic Jimmy Veverka often illustrates when he puts his crayons to paper. Johan suggests we all would be happier if health care cost less. If only the people in health care would just agree to accept lower wages our troubles would disappear.
Like Jimmy, Johan produces some incredible comedic material while attempting to write straight stuff. If problem solving was as simple as asking people to take wage cuts wouldn't it be nice if the people working in the oil industry took a pay cut allowing expensive gasoline to cost less. Wouldn't it be nice if teachers and professors took a 25 percent pay cut so taxpayers and parents didn't have to go BROKE trying to educate their kids. Johan's logic reveals his COMPLETE lack of understanding of how economics and free enterprise works. Wouldn't it be nice if an ice cream cone cost less... just slash the wages of those working a Dairy Queen to make it happen. Come on Johan ,use your noggin for something besides a hat rack. The price of items and servicers are a function of what they are worth in society on a comparative basis. They reflect the value the market place puts on them between a willing buyer and a willing seller.
WORSE. . . government often sticks it's pig snout in to DISTORT competitive free markets that continually determine the fair value of all goods and services. This creates government/business/collusion/cronyism that hurts all of us. Government interference in private enterprise does nothing but drive up costs or CREATE self-induced SHORTAGES of that product or service. If something is worth a dollar in the real world and government demands it cost 50 cents, I guarantee you that product will soon be IMPOSSIBLE to find. No one will accept LESS than their skills are worth under capitalism for very long. In addition, investors and risk takers, the required INGREDIENTS to lower the cost of anything, run for the hills when prices are artificially held back by government.
Health care is expensive for countless reasons that go far beyond what doctors or nurses make in wages. Why isn't Johan screaming at Democrats for not promoting LIMITS on tort judgments in health care? It is a well known fact that hundreds of billions of dollars are urinated out the window annually to pay for tests prescribed by doctors to COVER their rears legally from an army of ambulance-chasing lawyers. Doctors do not have to take a pay cut, nor any one else in health care, to have costs drop. That government DICTATES cuts for them will only reduce health care availability and dilute the quality of care.
There is nothing better to lower costs for ANYTHING than improved efficiency. It is ONLY more competition that reduces prices NATURALLY. Lasik eye surgery is the perfect example. Prices keep dropping from intense competition because government has kept its snout out. What is GOVERNMENT doing in general health care? KILLING COMPETITION while cramming down 3,000 pages of NEW rules, regulations and ENORMOUS TAXES that will have ONE RESULT — HIGHER COSTS. Even Obama admits Obamacare will do NOTHING to reduce health care costs for the typical middle class American family. That you suggest we arbitrarily CUT THE PAY of workers in a particular industry because you do not like the costs is pure funny page material.
The NEW Obamacare has 100,000 codes (up from 16,000) to define what health service a doctor or hospital has provided. Did you get hurt in a chicken coop or a pig sty — they have different codes. Did you bump into the light pole from the left or right — they have different codes. It will take tens of millions of man hours from the health care industry to SIMPLY COMPLY with the reports and regulations of Obamacare, costing HUNDREDS of billions of dollars that provide ZERO HEALTH CARE TO even ONE person but will make the cost of health care RISE. Then we have people like Johan walking the world suggesting the only way to reduce health care costs is to cut doctor and nurse wages. A comedy writer could not produce funnier material than his.
Tony Boutin