sábado, octubre 09, 2004

Benefits of incrementalism

Discussing nationalised healthcare with those of a leftist frame of mind, it occurs to me that one is put at a disadvantage in attempting to demonstrate the merits of a private healthcare system if one restricts the options to a public health system versus private health system. This tends to conflate the separate benefits a private system would provide. Nationalised healthcare systems are wasteful and ruinously expensive but there are actually two separate phenomena contributing to this.

  1. Any business which is run by the government will have priorities unrelated to those of the customers of that business and will tend to provide the product or service it wants to provide, in the quantities it wants to produce as opposed to providing the product according to the customer's demand. This leads inexorably to unsatisfied customers, gluts, rationing and shortages.
  2. 'Free' healthcare is a problem similar to the tragedy of the commons. If there is no cost to be borne by availing of 'free' healthcare, there is no corrective against frivolous use of this service. The phenomena of bored pensioners visiting the doctor for a chat is solely that of a system where that doctor's time is paid by the taxpayer and not the loquacious geriatric. Hypochondria, held in check by a pay-as-you-go system is positively rewarded by free healthcare.
Artículo completo, en samizdata.net.
Sus páginas de salud.