In order to fix what we think is broken, we should try to understand how we got in this mess. The problem with our out-of-control medical costs exemplifies this handily. Knowing how we got in this mess will usually help us figure out how to get out of it and at the very least can help us avoid stepping in the same hole again once it’s fixed.
If you only have one power company, they can charge whatever they want for electricity and you can either pay through the nose or freeze to death. This is an example of supply and demand. There is a large demand and only a single supplier. That is why most of our power providers are tightly regulated — to prevent this type of abuse.
Computers were expensive at the beginning. I remember when my first desktop computer cost me $1300 for a run-of-the-mill computer. Now you can buy a computer for $300. Why the difference? Supply and demand, obviously. Now there are numerous companies trying to sell you a computer.
So let’s think back about 30 years. Medical care was expensive. You paid almost $30 for a doctor visit. No, not for the co-pay, not for the deductible. That was the cost of the visit. Sure, that was expensive then, but nothing like what we’re paying today.
What has changed since then? What has caused the prices to sky rocket?
Do you think that it might possibly have something to do with supply and demand? You’re right on the money.
We have a higher demand for medical care now than we did back then. There were more doctors available per patient than we have now. Considerably more. And, why is that? The reason is two fold.
1. The AMA restricts how many doctors get through a medical degree. They control the supply. The AMA should be terminated. It is not benefiting society, but causing the deaths of many Americans due to unavailable affordable health care.
2. The second reason is along the same line. What else changed 30 years ago? What changed that affects how many people graduate from medical school? You’re probably way ahead of me on this one. Yes, it’s because the cost of education has gone through the roof. 30 years ago many colleges were free or close to free. Today, only the elite can afford to send their kids to medical school.
If we all paid $10 per year to provide free medical education to anyone interested and capable of graduating, we would save hundreds of dollars a year in medical costs. But, no, we don’t want to pay an extra dime on our taxes and see what this stingy attitude has done to our once great nation?