I blog about free markets in medical care and transparent pricing.
Professor Robert Higgs toward the end of his brilliant book, “Crisis and Leviathan,” discusses the errors of the renowned social scientist Joseph Schumpeter with regards to his prediction of a socialist U.S., post WWII. Higgs describes a post-war march toward a more mixed economic result, one characterized by a government that gives lip service to private property but whose intense regulation of this private property resembles the fascistic regimes of wartime Italy and Germany. Higgs faults Schumpeter for clinging to a Marxist model with the bourgeoisie or “business class” on one side and the labor unionists, intellectuals and government bureaucrats on the other. Consistent with this “two-class theme” Schumpeter portrays those in the business class as the last defenders of capitalism (much like Ayn Rand). Quoting the brilliant Higgs,”He (Schumpeter) failed to appreciate how much the abandonment of traditional economic liberties over the long run had resulted not from the acquiescence or defeat of businessmen but from their enthusiastic sponsorship.” Later, “Businessmen have done more than their full share to foster the active regulatory state from its very inception.”
Examples of medically related businesses that have embraced this fascism are too numerous to list. Operationally, it is critical to understand that while the political contributions and bribes these medical mercantilists pay are substantial, the loot they later receive dwarfs their “investment.” The poor-mouthing and complaining about the regulations or new government hoops and hurdles that these medical “businesses” must overcome create the needed distraction, one that deflects attention from the promised future payoff. Giant hospitals are a prime example of this “business” model. Being the only medical facilities big enough to deal with the most onerous government curve balls, behind closed doors the administrators of these facilities cry in their champagne as they watch their smaller rivals whither due to these same government curve balls.
One can only imagine what kind of dough the HIT (health information technology) companies threw down to obtain a government mandate to buy their product. This is a more blatant and obvious bribery. The distraction effort took the form of an intense propaganda campaign to convince the public that this HIT emergency was all in the interest of patient safety. This campaign continues today.
“Businessmen” that have made their millions through government contracts are nothing more than fascists as they essentially lobby for the stolen property to capitalize their “pubic-private” partnership. As intensely ingrained as these men are in the medical business, their footing is precarious, as the source of their funding is unstable, essentially the product of a robbery. True and free markets raising their heads out of the medical mud are devastating to even the biggest of the crony’s flagship “businesses” and facilities.
As more and more physicians and medical facilities display their prices the tactics and true colors of the fascist conglomerates will become more clear. I believe that this medical industrial complex will fall just like the Berlin Wall, as the unsustainable and unstable business model, embraced in this country for the last few decades, has run its course. The free market, with its creative destruction, will once again bring to ruin those who deserve it dearly.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.