Tuesday, July 08, 2003

No Myopic Stalinist Dwarf is Going to Make a George Clooney out of Me!

Let's nip this thing in the bud before it spreads like a cancer. I felt the tiniest twinge of fear when I read Ellen Goodman's column this morning. Maine passed statewide universal health care, and she thinks it's grand.

My presentation is allegorical. You'll get it as an economic issue this way. Besides, I get to make a reference to luxury automobiles!

If ice cream cones are offered to the public free of charge, you can expect that there will be a run on ice cream cones. The line will be long, and even people who don't particulalry want or need an ice cream cone will queue up to get one. After all- they're free!

If luxury automobiles are similarly given away, the line will be longer, since the unearned value to be obtained is greater.

In the usual analysis of health care, the cost is derided as a great negative. The cost is seen as high, and as preventing some from access to the care. But high cost does have a function. It ensures that need really is the driving force behind acquisition of care. Cost makes all interested parties choose carefully before committing to spending.

Health care, like any other human product or service, is still subject to the laws of supply and demand. Maine Gov. Baldacci's plan ignores this reality.

What has Baldacci done for the people? He has done something for all of the people, wittingly or not.

I was hoping that Oregon would have passed statewide universal healthcare when the voters had the chance to adapt it. Alas, the voters shot it down 80-20. Maybe the people there know something.

What Baldacci has done in not letting the voters decide is to give the other 49 states a classroom experience. We will all get to see if this thing works or if it fails. Expect it to be a disaster.

Mark Maine's current population statistics. That will be a telling figure. The other telling figure will be the poverty statistics. Expect both to increase. Sure, the people paying the tax bill will have a good reason to exodus, but they will have trouble getting to the turnstyle as those looking for health care that is provided by someone other than themselves clog the entrance.

Maine may not be the last state to enact this hideous policy. If my home state of Indiana follows suit, I will make good on the kind of threat George Clooney reneged on: I'll leave it for a more liberty-loving, hospitable state.

That's no idle threat. I gave myself a 7% raise when I left Ohio last August, just on the tax savings. Think I wouldn't do it again?

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