Both politicians and big business desire monopoly. Obamacare over time, being one of the largest transfers of power from elected officials to a few select corporate entities, will narrow the field of competition among health care providers to a select and politically connected few.
This is desirable by politicians because as citizens become more beholden to the state for an essential service such as health care, the more people can be controlled. Big business equally desires this outcome because larger organizations tend to be slow to react to market changes, while smaller businesses are far more agile. This small-business advantage is removed when a market is driven by political influence and not the will of consumers. Such influence can only be bought and sold by those entities with vast and expendable resources. This is the real advantage of being a large corporation, therefore such companies use this to their advantage and most politicians are more than willing to oblige.
This is obviously the intent and result of Obamacare. According to Fortune.com, part of the Time Magazine network:
Based on current demographic trends alone, today’s dearth of primary care practitioners is destined to get far worse. As a result, prices are rising, and competition is falling, as big hospital groups rush to hire all the primary care doctors they can find. Once one or two big chains control most of the family doctors and general internists in their markets, rivals can’t find the troops to challenge them. That’s creating oligopolies in markets across the nation.
Understanding Health Care Opportunity Costs
Investopedia.com defines opportunity costs as the cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action. For example, the opportunity costs for going to the movies may be staying home with the family playing board games. If one goes to the movies, he or she is giving up quality time with their family; the opportunity cost of seeing the film.
People judge opportunity costs every day. We choose to get up early most weekday mornings because the cost of staying in bed could mean the loss of our job. Later that morning, we may choose to eat an egg substitute over real eggs due to their cholesterol content. This continues throughout nearly every waking moment of our life. There is no way of avoiding opportunity costs, people can only hope that they have the option to make a choice and when they do, the best choice is made.
People do this as well concerning their careers, do they not? Any honest person is going to say he or she chose career X over career Y because of reasons A, B, and C. As with any industry, there is a broad spectrum of enthusiasm for any particular career choice. Without question there will be some people such as Mother Theresa who choose a career simply by virtue of being able to help. Others will choose a career simply due to inertia, financial gain, freedom to operate as one wishes, or flexible hours. The spectrum of career choices is vast and employment in the health care industry is no different.
When the opportunity costs to choose a career changes, the number of people entering that field changes as well in the same proportion as the shift in opportunity costs. For example, the opportunity costs to be a candle maker changed significantly with the invention of the light bulb. Regardless of the changes in the cost of creating a candle at the time, the demand for candles went down significantly, making the opportunity to produce and profit from candle making far less appealing. Therefore, a candle making career became less valuable than the next alternative to employment, whatever that may be for any particular person.
The Opportunity Costs of an Alternate Career other than Health Care Changed with Obamacare
According to Deloitte LLP, a worldwide industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services firm to 80% of the Fortune 500 companies in the world:
Six in 10 physicians say that it is likely that many physicians will retire earlier than planned in the next one to three years.
This perception is fairly uniform among all physicians, irrespective of age, gender, or medical specialty. Most physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine: Six in 10 physicians (57 percent) say that the practice of medicine is in jeopardy.
Nearly three-quarters of physicians (higher among surgical specialists at 81 percent) think the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine (slight increase from those who felt similarly in 2011 at 69 percent), while more than half believe that physicians will retire (62 percent) or scale back practice hours (55 percent) based on how the future of medicine is changing.
What impact do these facts have on those people, not only presently employed in the health care industry, but also those who would consider the career in the future? As the choice of a health care career becomes less and less favorable, fewer of those people entering the workforce will choose this option as their employment path. The degree for which this occurs is dependent only upon how unfavorable a career in health care becomes.
Opportunity Costs also Change for Those Businesses that Invest in Medical Device and Medicine Innovation
As the health care industry moves further and further towards a government controlled socialized system, the more monopolistic the market becomes. To understand why this is the case, one must first understand the fact that socialized health care requires less competition and fewer producers in the marketplace.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines socialized medicine as medical and hospital services that are provided by a government and paid for by taxes. The obvious result of a market with only one, politically-driven customer (the government); is one or only a handful of politically connected producers. As with any producer of products and services, the logical means of increasing profits and market share is to know the customer. In a socialized environment, the government is the customer. Therefore, products and services are tailored to the needs and wants of politicians, not the people.
The Result is the Rationing of Health Care
The combination of millions of people who are able to demand the services of health care providers with little to no concern for the financial consequences, coupled with the incentives for people to enter the health care industry diminished, the result is disastrous. A massive increase in demand coupled with the drop in resources resulting from the monopolistic nature of a socialized market, a perfect storm forms for the rationing of health care. Rationing that is driven by a few large corporations and a handful of politicians.
Untimely Death and Deplorable Care
It is self-evident that when people are separated from the responsibilities of earning something, anything, including health care – the demand for such products and services will spike. It is also self-evident that when government controls prices and the benefits of entering into an industry, the opportunity cost for not choosing some other career skyrockets.
Nevertheless, there are those who will deny these facts, yet such results are easily observable in other countries:
“It found Government waiting time targets and a bid to win foundation status were pursued at the expense of patient safety over a three-year period at Mid-Staffordshire NHS [National Health Service of England] Trust.”
“‘It is completely unacceptable for patients not to be treated with dignity and respect and not to receive the help they need with things like personal hygiene.
‘That should be fundamental to NHS [National Health Service of England] care-whenever it’s not it’s an appalling indictment of our treatment of some of the most vulnerable users of our health services.’ “
“This healthcare “bread line” is where people die. It happens regularly that by the time a patient gets to see an expert, his condition has progressed beyond remedy. It also happens frequently that referrals get lost. Bureaucracies create listless employees, who don’t care, who refuse to go the extra mile, and who are never responsible for failures.”
“There were almost 72,000 adults waiting for surgery in B.C. at the end of April. Approximately 90 per cent of patients receive surgeries within 33 weeks [OVER 8 MONTHS], according to a government website.”
“American patients spend more than 20 minutes with their doctor on a visit, compared to 20 percent in Canada and only 5 percent in Britain.”
and . . .
“While thousands of people die each year from lack of kidney dialysis, the NHS provides an array of comforts for chronically ill people with less serious health problems.”
No matter what the ignorant and shortsighted people who support Obamacare believe, Obamacare is not a half measure to socialized health care in the United States. It is the final step to the corporatization of America. Yet the fight against corporatism in America must begin by dispelling the feeble-minded fantasies of those who believe socialized medicine is a step in the correct direction. Socialized medicine is and has always been a disaster. While demand for health care services skyrocket due to the myth of it being free, as decisions are made for political purposes only, and the incentives for people to enter the health care industry diminish; the only result will be rationing, suffering, and untimely death.
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