Re: Big business is bad, Pharms is a big business and therefore bad, etc.
Pharma is not hugely profitable given the number of failures they must invest in (with no guarantee of success) to get one winner. This talk of obscene profits is similar to talking about venture capitalists if all their failures and write-offs are ignored. Planned economies have a hard time matching the effectiveness of the random walk of a market with its “try 2-3 times to get a good result.” We see it in our own government agencies where they frequently have to spend 5-10x commercial to get a working information system against a given need. Unfortunately, government can’t fail and close its doors like business (and get the advantage of a new set of intellects with likely better judgment in their next attempt).
Perhaps we should offer state support in public clinics, publicly funded teaching hospitals of any medicine and procedure in common use, say, 20 years ago (1990). Everything more recent is the individual’s responsibility. Note that without some way of we’re going to see everyone getting N-year-old care as medical and pharma research stalls and stops. Using a 20 year old list (perhaps derived from the practices and pharmacopeia of the top 4 teaching hospitals of the day) has the advantage of being an easily understood process without the argument of what should or should not be on the list.
Challenge is few will notice the lack of medical advance (sins of omission – opportunity costs are seldom tallied). Perhaps some will document the slow-down in the rate of innovation. Hopefully some other nation will pick up the slack and we’ll find yet-another-trade-deficit in medical-tourism, but at least progress won’t stop. Similar to the only country you can go to for major surgery today where facilities have been built from scratch to be and remain MRSA-free is India. Not insignificant given the medical art is still (accidently) killing 4-5x more citizens than die in automobile accidents today. In one thousand years (presuming we repeal Obomacare and not innovation), I’m certain our practices will be viewed as closer to medieval than advanced.
Obamacare is all about leveling death and misery (and sadly stopping innovation). Could easily exceed the costs and losses of communism where billions of peoples’ lifetime of work were utterly wasted, where the outputs of their factories were often worth less than the inputs (granted, not the peoples’ fault save their unwillingness to die to throw off their slave-master’s shackles – or grant that here’s a fine reason to define a higher power than any state).
And/or we’ve a need for a general social contract that’s a sliding scale between treating-like-a-child and the freedoms and responsibility of an adult. Meaning the more you’re dependent on (the family or) state, the more constrained your freedom and actions are. At one extreme we assign a barracks bunk, administer birth-control in the daily rations, and do some form of manual-labor to get fed and clothed. At the other-end is a free-and-responsible person. Where there’s no picking and choosing. If you need/want the state to provide healthcare (or housing, or education, or non-self-funded pension), you get the rest of the “we’ll care for (and manage) you” contract as well.