Oh, is there an election tomorrow?
Listening to political hacks argue about polling data seemed foolish yesterday. We are hours away and I am content to bring on the one poll that counts. I was a bit disheartened to see Dr. Larry Sabato predict the President's reelection, but I carry on.
I made one last "Libertario Delenda Est" to a wavering libertarian musician buddy. He still is undecided between the evil Governor Romney and four more years. I thought about offering him jg's beer, but flipped a coin and instead shared Chris Demuth's A Referendum on ObamaCare and Liberty. Tuesday's choice on health care is pretty much irrevocable.
America is a large, wealthy, dynamic and heterogeneous nation. It is also the only major country that continues to maintain a health-care system with substantial elements of competitive supply, pricing freedom, patient choice, and diversity in approaching complex and uncertain medical problems.
Moving from a world with one such system to a world with none--a world with no major market where new medical drugs and devices can be priced to return large investments in research and development, for example--will fundamentally change the prospects for future medical progress.
The most important result of ObamaCare will go beyond health care, though, to the dynamics of American politics. Today, the details of federal government policy are important primarily to those in heavily regulated sectors such as finance, energy and communications; to professionals such as lawyers and tax accountants; and to those who for one reason or another are dependent on public assistance. Between elections, most members of the American middle class can go about their lives with little distraction from Washington.
Every middle-class American of every age and circumstance will be constantly in the government's sights. The tendency--already evident at the state level--will be to require generous, subsidized coverage of routine health and "wellness" services involving lifestyle, cosmetics, amenity and child development; of "preventive medicine" such as weight-reduction programs; and of "alternative medicine" such as massage and herbal therapies. At the same time (as already evident under Medicare) the treatment of infrequent but costly catastrophic diseases and conditions will be limited in the name of cost control, and the case-by-case discretion of doctors and other providers will be closely monitored and restricted.
That, and brother jg's beer...
Posted by John Kranz at November 5, 2012 10:39 AM
Sabato Rabbito. You can't believe anything he says - his predictions come from a Crystal Ball! We clearly need a dose of Michael Barone who predicts, based on fundamentals, Romney in a landslide. (That's my word. Barone's is "handily.")