Tamny on the Future for Doctors When Healthcare is Free

From October 22, 2012 article by Tamny in Forbes:

“Though medical advances have historically elongated life all the while making it more livable, and cheaper, politicians think healthcare is too expensive. Because they don’t like the cost of something they deem essential, they’ve decided to restrict the ability of physicians to offer up their own skills at a price they think appropriate.

Voters and commentators who should know better no doubt cheer when they hear allegedly visionary politicians decree healthcare a “right” that should be dispensed inexpensively, but they tragically fail to consider the unseen.

As mentioned before, doctors are increasingly being told that they can offer their services not at prices that the market will bear, but for prices deemed acceptable by allegedly compassionate politicians. But just as artificially cheap rent controls lead to apartment scarcity, soon enough we’ll see a scarcity of doctors, and worse, a slowdown in the cures that would have otherwise elongated and enhanced our lives.

A generation ago doctors were rich, but now they’re increasingly being told that their profession and their skills are not theirs, that in fact they’re a public good; the dispensation of same a function of what an unelected board of bureaucrats considers correct. Sadly for politicians, and tragically for all of us, the talented who might have otherwise chosen a career in medicine are watching.

Eager to enter a profession in which their earnings and their potential to thrive are not limited by governmental decree, they see medicine as a bad deal thanks to politicians ever eager to give to others something of theirs for nothing. In short, politicians have decided to the applause of the naïve that healthcare should be cheap. Because they have the poor and middle class are soon going to learn the hard way just how expensive and life shortening is “cheap” healthcare.”

To paraphrase Obama’s beliefs about entrepreneurs  (“You didn’t build that”), he says to would-be docs, your skills don’t belong to you, but to all of us.  You sir, are a public good!

Ineluctable economics, which can’t be changed by politics.

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