June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

Your Source for Free Speech,
Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

The Unholy Trinity of Healthcare

by | Jun 2, 2021 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There are two economic concepts that every American should understand, and they are very similar, so I want to discuss them together.

The first is what economists call the ‘unholy trinity of monetary policy,’ which says that a nation can pursue two, but not all three, of the following monetary policy directions: a fixed/pegged exchange rate, an independent monetary system, and free movement of capital. If a country could do all three of those things simultaneously, it could print money out of thin air without causing inflation, and we could end scarcity. Countries have been trying throughout recorded history to do all three of those things simultaneously, and the amount of harm done to flesh and blood human beings by these failed attempts to do all three things is incalculable.

Show me a war, and I will show you at least one country that tried to do all three of these things.

Another unholy trinity has also done incalculable harm to flesh and blood human beings, but that does not get discussed as often, and that is the ‘unholy trinity of healthcare.’ As with the unholy trinity of monetary policy, a country can pursue two, but not all three, policy directions: quality, affordability, and universality.

Somehow, if I tell people that a country cannot print money while letting capital flow freely without seeing inflation, they get it. We know intuitively that scarcity exists and that we must make trade-offs with regard to monetary policy. Somehow, however, people do not apply the same rules of scarcity to healthcare.

We would get better policy decisions if we did.

We can have universal healthcare, but we have to sacrifice quality and/or affordability to have it. The reason prices are skyrocketing under Obamacare is that Obamacare tries to have universal healthcare without any quality sacrifices, making healthcare prohibitively expensive. We are reaching a point where we all have healthcare insurance, but the deductibles are so high that only the rich can afford to see a doctor, and in the meantime, about half of all Americans pay more for their healthcare insurance than they pay for their homes.

Obamacare did not fail so much as it made a bad set of trade-offs.

If we want healthcare that is universal and affordable, we have to let the quality suffer, and the more affordable it becomes, the worse the quality will be. If you want healthcare that actually helps keep you healthy, it will either not be universal, or it will not be affordable.

Most economists would prefer that we have high-quality, affordable healthcare. Most Republicans want this too. Of course, that means it will not be universal.

We have to make trade-offs.

In the past, we used Medicaid to cover healthcare for the poor. Everyone else had to decide for themselves what kind of insurance, if any, they wanted to have, and then based on those decisions, if they had to see a doctor, they had to pay whatever the insurance did not cover. We had the highest quality of healthcare in the world, and it was affordable, but some people would go bankrupt if they gambled on insurance and then got sick.

Thanks to wage controls in the 60s, employers began to supply healthcare insurance as a fringe benefit. They did not do this because there was a great demand for employers to provide insurance rather than more pay, but because the government would not let them pay more. Insurance was something they could provide to attract workers.

Government, thinking that employer provider healthcare insurance was a good thing, made it tax-free, encouraging more and more employers to provide it.

An obvious downside to employer-provided insurance is that you lose it if you change jobs. Obviously, an insurer is not going to cover you for something you already have when you first get insurance (that would be like trying to get car insurance only after you crash your car), so having people changing insurance programs every few years, as they changed jobs, made pre-existing conditions a major problem.

That is where we were before Obamacare. We had another problem on top of that: too many onerous government regulations created waste and increased the cost of providing healthcare.

The solution to all of this is not single-payer healthcare. Single-payer systems have the same unholy trinity that all healthcare systems have – they can only control costs by reducing quality – but with no incentive to reduce waste, they always reduce quality, and often at a higher cost.

A free-market system provides incentives to reduce waste and improve quality. Price becomes a way to balance the unholy trinity, allowing different providers to provide different levels of quality at different prices, generating the optimum mix for society at large.

As for insurance, the government must either make healthcare insurance tax-free when bought by individuals, or it must remove the tax-free status employer-provided insurance currently gets. Either of those options will encourage employers to get out of the healthcare insurance business, and encourage individuals to find insurance on their own that will be portable when they change jobs (solving the problem of pre-existing conditions).

Government must also let individuals join pools to buy insurance in groups so that individuals can negotiate on price with the same clout companies have.

Free market healthcare and free-market insurance are the only way to go. Sadly, it is a hard sell for the very reason it works: by making the optimal balance between the unholy trinity, it also admits that the unholy trinity exists. When given a choice, the public wants to vote the unholy trinity away, even though doing so is impossible.

The fact that the people tend to vote to do all three things, both with monetary policy and with healthcare, in spite of those attempts always failing (and often doing great harm), is why these two trinities are called ‘unholy.’

Our inability as a society to recognize the need to make trade-offs makes the ideal balance of trade-offs (a free market) difficult to sell. The public likes to vote for perfection, even in an imperfect world. Because of this, many voters will vote for people who over-promise and then fail to deliver. Propaganda can further pull voters away from rational tradeoffs, and the result is incalculable harm to the public at large.

Wallace Garneau

Wallace Garneau is a two-service military veteran, with four years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, and four years in the US Army. He has twenty-three years of experience in process improvement roles, having served as the E-Commerce Manager, IT Manager, and Director of Business Systems for a variety of medium to large manufacturing companies. Wallace holds a Bachelors of Science from the University of Phoenix, and an MBA in Lean Manufacturing from the University of Michigan. Wallace is currently finishing a Masters of Science in Lean Manufacturing, at Kettering University.

Wallace is a published poet and essayist, and recently finished his first book - The Way Forward: Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking for Large and Small Businesses.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.

The Reason the Patriot Act No Longer Works

The Reason the Patriot Act No Longer Works

We must realize the power of arrest now basically lies in Marxist hands, and they will use it. Already they have perverted the definition of who is and who is not a “terrorist.” It’s no longer the foreign Islamic Jihadists who killed over 3000 Americans in a single day, who are the terrorist!” To suggest is to be labeled Islamaphobic, but Oath Keepers, former American soldiers, and policemen still willing to keep the oaths they took to Protect and Defend the…

To Secede, or Not To Secede, That is the Question for Oregon and Idaho

To Secede, or Not To Secede, That is the Question for Oregon and Idaho

The Oregon vote shows both the desire of the people to change and their willingness to fight for their land. Is that enough? As of the writing, I don’t know how the legislature of Oregon will respond to this vote. Are the legislators willing to trap people in an unhappy situation to further their political goals? We’ve seen that before in world history, and it doesn’t end well.

John Kerry is a Consequential Internal Security Threat to America

John Kerry is a Consequential Internal Security Threat to America

John Kerry co-chaired the 2020 presidential campaign Biden-Sanders unity climate change task force with the socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., which provided the framework for a “Green New Deal,” since repackaged as the Democrat “infrastructure” plan. Kerry has a habit of being in the center of many of the worst policies that pose major security risks for America…

Biden, G7 & the China Conundrum

Biden, G7 & the China Conundrum

The only way to confront the Chinese colossus is by combining the populations, economic and military powers of the USA, Europe, Russia, and India. Excluding Biden’s mental lapses and gaffes, the G7 leaders had a good time amongst themselves at enormous taxpayers’ expenses and returned home, not only empty-handed but empty-minded for completely ignoring all the following items…

5 Tools That Will Help You Tame Anxiety

5 Tools That Will Help You Tame Anxiety

Emotions are actually intelligent indicators meant to get your attention and provide energy and information. Anxiety as an emotional symptom is a sign you are not present. Ultimately, you can retrain your mind with consistent self-care tools and by prioritizing yourself to take the time to reset when your emotions are getting overly amped up…

COVID-19 Vaccines Not Safe for Human Use on Either Side of the Atlantic

COVID-19 Vaccines Not Safe for Human Use on Either Side of the Atlantic

Since the majority of the deaths occur within a few days of the vaccine administration, if the vaccine did not directly “cause” the death, it was undoubtedly in the causal pathway of these temporally related fatalities. Common narratives include vaccine-induced fatal heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and blood disorders. 5,888 Americans have died and confirmed by the CDC, and possibly tens of thousands not reported or still backlogged at the CDC…

Sadly, Biden Was the Laugh of the G7 Party

Sadly, Biden Was the Laugh of the G7 Party

The President’s behavior throughout the G7 meeting and the meeting with Putin that followed did nothing to alleviate the suspicions that many Americans have that the President’s cognitive ability is fading rapidly. This, of course, leads to another question: Is Joe Biden really able to carry out his duties as President of the United States and leader of the free world?

#BidenBlunders Are Top Greatest US Threats – Not White Supremacists or Global Warming

#BidenBlunders Are Top Greatest US Threats – Not White Supremacists or Global Warming

How does terminating American petroleum and pipelines — while at the same time placating Putin’s — benefit all those drowning Arctic polar bears Al Gore warned us about? I’m betting that lots of recently unemployed coal miners and oil patch roughnecks are among a great many who are questioning these same contradictions regarding America’s truly urgent problems…

Coincidence or Conspiracy to Take Down a Nation

Coincidence or Conspiracy to Take Down a Nation

Now with a clearer vision of the past year and a half, could this nightmare we’ve been living have all been simply happenstance? Or is there something more sinister behind it? When we consider some parallels between the CCP-virus, the now-obvious hanky-panky that surrounded our Nov. 3rd elections, and the false flags unfolding around the January 6th Capitol event, we could almost have a conspiracy!

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

 

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap