Today, sadly, the Senate passed its version of "health care reform." No one knows exactly what is in the bill, but one thing is certain-- it is designed to fail. By failure, I mean it will do the opposite of what the politicians are touting as its benefits: the cost will be substantially more than advertised, the savings will not materialize, it will add significantly to the deficit, it will reduce competition and innovation, taxes will have to be increased beyond what is already in the plan, it will result in healthcare rationing, and a black market for healthcare services to compensate for its shortcomings. Its failures will usher in the next set of healthcare reform fixes that will have as its inevitable a single payer system for the US... that is in fact the goal and endgame of healthcare reform... command and control healthcare by government bureaucrats. The US political leadership has chosen to take another step further away from the marketplace with its natural cost control mechanisms in favor of top-down profit and price controls for the healthcare industry when what we really need is a Wal-Mart for healthcare and a resetting of attitudes that rights are not something that can be dispensed by politicians confiscating other people's money.
For other perspectives on alternate care read Scott Jagow at Marketplace on his recent experience getting "Fast, Cheap, and Happy Health Care" at a Minute Clinic.
For an intelligent discussion on the subject, here is Richard Epstein: