Healthcare Trade-offs

I think it was Thomas Sowell who first said that, in economics, there are no solutions – only trade-offs. Indeed. The current trade-off of interest concerns health care reform. Conventional wisdom has it that the trade-off is between expanded access to health care and higher taxes. That much is true, but that’s not the only trade-off. As this article points out, it is inevitable that health reform (as currently passed by the House) will almost certainly increase unemployment and increase the price of everything we consume. Lower skilled and lower paid workers will be hurt the most. Ironically, the people who will benefit the most from health reform will also be harmed the most. Perhaps our Representatives have considered this and believe that, on balance, this is for the better. I might disagree, but in the end, it’s a judgement call and their call to make. What I fear is that they haven’t fully considered it and are blissfully ignorant of the consequences. I’d feel better about this if some reform supporter would acknowledge both the benefit and harm when stating his support.

UPDATE: The consequences are going to be even more bizarre than I realized. Arnold Kling predicts that some strange things will happen if the contemplated changes become law.

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