Yet another way government controls health care
Muscle? Police? You’d think this was a case of Mafia thugs fighting it out with machine guns to gain territory. But it’s not. When you boil down all the complexities (and there are a lot of them, believe me), the federal government is saying in effect: “We order you to maintain two entirely separate administrations for the two hospitals in this Georgia county, population 94,565, instead of bringing them under one management.”
This kind of decree is not that unusual in the world of antitrust. Organizations that want to merge are frequently told they have a duty to go on competing, despite their better judgment. But it’s especially troubling here, in light of all the other ways government manipulates the health care industry.
My colleague Rituparna Basu has written about the widespread government control over medicine at length on this blog (here, here, and here, for example) and in op-eds (here and here). I’ve blogged about it (here, here and here) and written op-eds (here and here) on the topic. The Ayn Rand Center’s commentary is gathered in one place here.
Do you really want to find yourself sick in a health care system where nobody can sharpen a pencil without looking over their shoulder for a bureaucrat’s permission? If not, it’s time to think more seriously about the value of a free market in medicine.