Health Care Reform: It Will Require A Revolt - Or Mass Death
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2018-03-01 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 222 references Ignore this thread
Health Care Reform: It Will Require A Revolt - Or Mass Death
[Comments enabled]

In the end this is up to you folks.

You're going to have to revolt.  Peacefully and lawfully, hopefully.  But you're going to have to in order to fix the health care scam that causes you to pay ten times what others pay in other parts of the world for drugs, surgeries and other services.

Have a look at this folks.  Health care never lost employmenteven during the recession.

Now consider that at least 10 administrators and other non-care-givers are hired for each doctor or nurse.  Some estimates place the number at 30:1.

Technology always reduces cost and improves efficiency over time in a free market.  The concept of a 24" computer display that can be had for a couple hundred bucks was fantasy 10 or 20 years ago.  Such a display was a CRT and cost thousands.  I know because I owned one -- exactly one, in my office, that was used for graphic arts work.  Nobody else had them on their desk because they cost too much money!

You can buy a 65" TV right now and hang on it on your wall, with 4k resolution, for under a thousand dollars.  That was unthinkable a few years ago.  In 1999 after I sold MCSNet I bought a rear projection TV -- a Mitsubishi -- that was one of the first 1080 sets on the market.  It cost eight grand, consumed five times or more the power of the set I have on my wall now, was several times the weight and roughly eight times the cost yet had a fraction of the resolution and image quality.

We all walk around with a computer in our pocket that cost a few hundred bucks -- and is thousands of times more powerful than the desktop computer that I paid over $2,500 for.  It not only has thousands of times the RAM and storage it runs all day on a tiny little battery where mine required 120V AC power to operate at all.

Health care, as it has become more technologically-based, should have gotten dramatically cheaper.  A simple example is the X-rays in your dental office.  They used to require actual film; you took the image and then had to develop the film.  The film and chemicals to run it cost money and were disposable items; you used them and they were used up.  Today those X-rays are taken with a machine that uses a solid-state imager placed in your mouth (much like the sensor in a digital camera) that lasts effectively forever; the only "consumable" is a plastic-bag like cover placed over it for sterility reasons. The images it produces are higher resolution and the image sensor requires much lower power (meaning less radiation you absorb, but also far cheaper to make the X-ray emitter too.)  Yet the cost of those X-rays has not come down at all -- if anything it has gone up!

Crowns and such used to be made by hand.  Now they're done on a small 5-axis CNC machine that sits in the back room of the dentist's office; they take a picture of your tooth and the computer digitizes that and makes an exact fitting crown from same that requires very little trimming -- if any -- when put in your mouth.  That thing can make a crown in minutes from a solid block of material, and does.  Only the monopoly games the industry plays make that crown cost hundreds or even a thousand dollars instead of the five bucks worth of material and consumption of tooling (which does eventually occur); while the machines are moderately expensive over their useful life the cost-per-crown-made is literally in the single-digit dollar range.  With competition the cost of a crown would be in the tens of dollars (that's still a profit margin of well over 100%!) and another couple hundred worth of work by a dentist to have it put in.  And in fact it is, if you get on a plane and go somewhere all the monopolists cannot set up shop.

The government has all the tools it needs to break all those monopolies right now.  15 USC Chapter 1 makes clear that such actions are illegal.  Not only are they illegal they're felonies, not just civil offenses.  Yet nobody -- literally nobody, whether at the state or federal level will take this on.

The reason is in that chart.  If you put a stop to the monopolies in health care then employment in that sector contracts instantly and by a monstrous amount -- probably by as much as 90%!

The resulting layoffs and recession -- although it would be very short lived as the cost decrease to households and business flowed through the economy and all that money was redirected into productive pursuits -- is why nobody will touch this.

They know that 9 out of 10, or more, of the people employed in "health care" never provide a single second of care to a single person during their entire career.  They are all overhead, those "jobs" are created by the illegal monopolist actions of those in the industry, they could never exist in a free market because someone would employ only the people needed for care and actual cash collection, and thus would destroy the competitors with 10x as many overhead employees in a single day.

As I pointed out in Leverage the first economic principle is that the lowest-cost transaction is always the simplest.  If you want a loan the cheapest way to obtain one with proper price for risk is for you to find someone with money and borrow it from them.  If you want some form of health care the cheapest way to obtain it at an actual fair price for whatever is wrong is to find a person who knows how to fix whatever is wrong with you and pay them in cash.

This is always true because nobody works for free.  The more people who are involved in the transaction the more it costs, always and without exception.  Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying or stealing from someone else.

The politicians are never going to voluntarily contract this -- or any other -- segment of the economy, even when it is 10x the size of what it should be due to outright fraud and monopoly behavior that is against the law.  They know that this will immediately cause a very deep and nasty recession if they do, and they'll be blamed for it.

As a result it comes down to you.

Either you -- that is, everyone -- forces this issue and revolts, whether it be through a refusal to earn money and pay taxes, political process or otherwise, or the exponential increase in cost and parasitic employment that helps nobody other than those who draw the checks will continue until the Federal and State governments are unable to fund themselves at which point they will either ration care and if you are dependent on same you will likely die or said governments will collapse.

That point in time, incidentally, is now quite close to being upon us.

Which choice do you make?

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