Economics

"The Fatal Allure of Single Payer"

Richard Epstein at his best. Which is very, very good.

This grim picture is no idle abstraction. These incentive effects are so powerful that they will swamp any effort to improve national healthcare by government fiat. It is conceptually indefensible and politically naïve to assume that healthcare is somehow “special” and therefore follows economic rules that don’t apply to other markets. In housing, it has been known for decades that rent control only aggravates shortages by creating massive distortions in housing markets. In agriculture, ethanol subsidies for gasoline have wrecked the operation of both food and energy markets. In transportation, endless queues formed when price controls at the pump created systematic gasoline shortages. The lesson is that basic economic principles apply to all goods and services, no matter their elevated position in the social discourse.

Related: John Cochrane, "Health Care Policy Isn't so Hard".