Sunday, July 28, 2002

I got the NY Times today to read David Kelley's letter on Ayn Rand and Greenspan. A good letter, it should get the Center some much needed visibility. The original he sent to them was of course much stronger, but they edited it down.

Anyway, practically right next to David's letter is a letter about health care. This individual claims that our health care system "is not driven by common market forces" and that "is not governed by the conventional principles of economics." And this is why is should be centrally and publicly planned!!

Ironically the title NY Times gave the letter is "Health Care's Logic" Because letter displays the more common logical fallacies, his conclusion is a non sequitur and his case is circular.

First, his conclusion is a non sequitur because it doesn't follow from the premises that Health Care operates differently than other markets, that it should be centrally and publicly planned. He needs more premises that show that when a particular market functions differently than common markets that it should then be planned. (and by the way, he also needs to explain how these differences solve all the economic problems of centrally planned markets.)

Second, his case is circular because the reason that Health Care doesn't operate like other markets and according to conventional principles of economics is not that there is something different about Health Care as a market, but because health care is so heavily regulated by governments.

Entrance in to the health care field is government controled through licenses. The majority of the tools used by health care providers, (drugs, equipment, etc) are regulated by the FDA. Prices and compensation is largely regulated through medicare. And so on and so on. Of course health care doesn't operate like a other markets, it is not free to do so. The government has prevented it from operating like a market through its regulations. More government control and planning is not the answer, freeing the market from the burden of regulations is the answer.

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