Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DeLong: Smothering Medical Innovation

In his 4/2/2011 PajamasMedia OpEd, James DeLong warns how ObamaCare will resulting in "Smothering Medical Innovation".

I'm very glad that he makes some critical points, including the fact that:

1) Technology and innovation is not the source of rising health costs. In fact, technological innovation generally leads to decreased costs in every other sector of the economy. It's only the regulatory regime that prevents market forces from operating that keeps costs for high tech medicine artificially high.

2) We shouldn't look at health spending as if it were a collective pot of money spent by "society". That's the trap the statists want Americans to fall into, which allows them to "justify" ever-increasing government restrictions.

3) He also echoes the point made by Dr. Beth Haynes, "that once health care expenses are collectivized, rationing is inevitable."

A socialized medical system will necessarily restrict innovation because it will save money -- even though it will kill thousands of patients. But to effectively oppose socialized health care, we must first challenge its advocates' presumption that it is scientifically and morally superior to the free market. DeLong's piece is a nice step in that direction.