by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
The title of this article is not hyperbole.
Gene Sperling was just on CNBC saying that health care must be treated as a right and essentially deferring the debate as to how to pay for all of that — and of course he trotted out the trope of a kid born with severe disabilities bankrupting his or her parents.
Health care is, today, almost 20% of our economy. One dollar in five.
80% of that is stolen through fraud, felony, extortion, racketeering and anti-trust. All of these are illegal and in the case of anti-trust have been illegal for almost 100 years. There have been no changes to 15 USC Chapter 1 exempting medical providers, pharmaceutical firms or others involved in the supply of drugs, devices, implements, supplies and services to these laws.
Twice various elements of the medical monopolists and insurance firms have gone to the US Supreme Court challenging said laws. They lost both cases, with the latter being in the early 1980s.
Having lost twice in trying to get legal exemptions for their conduct these industries turned to bribing politicians and issuing tropes like Gene just ran in the national media, asserting that it’s a “right” not to be bankrupted because you give birth to a severely-deformed or disabled child, and as a result everyone’s health care, from birth to death, is a fundamental right you can extract by force from others.
Gene is not some random idiot. He has been Director of the National Economic Council and an assistant to the President for economic policy under two administrations — Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
He is 60 years old — not much older than I.
And if this crap does not stop right here and now by politically shooting people, rendering them pariahs in society and removing their bull**** from the political stage millions of Americans are going to die in the same sort of horrible way that the Jews did in Auschwitz — either by being literally shot, shoved into boxcars and then ovens or by writhing in pain when the government collapses under its own fiscal weight and the entirety of the US medical system comes down and is burnt to the ground with it.
Gene does not give a flying **** about any of this because he considers himself to be an “elite” and “protected”; indeed he has just five short years before he believes he can steal all the health care he wants, irrespective of his personal decisions, from you, I and everyone else.
Unfortunately you can’t print health care with the press of a button. You can print paper or electronic dollars but not goods and services; that is, actual value. You cannot compel a nurse to attend you or a doctor to perform surgery.
Competition and technology makes everything cheaper in real terms over time. Gene knows this is an economic fact as he’s an economist. It is the very definition of the word “productivity”; doing more with less.
Yet despite one of the greatest bursts of productivity the world has ever seen over the last 50 years health care has gone from 3-4% of GDP to almost 20%, a five-fold increase in allocation in the economy — or put it another way health care has seen an 80% regression in productivity per unit of expense.
The only reason this sort of outrageous regression has ever happened in the history of the economic world is fraud, extortion, racketeering and monopolization. It was that very recognition by Congress that led to the passage of 15 United States Code. That law has been on the books for nearly one hundred years and so stands today yet not one prosecutor will or has empaneled a Grand Jury, subpoenaed all of said records from the medical systems under their jurisdiction and returned true bills against every single hospital system, insurer, pharmaceutical company, distributor and officer of same, including individual physicians, all of whom can be trivially demonstrated to have colluded to fix prices and restrain trade.
At the same time we have enabled and cheered on all manner of intentionally self-destructive behavior that has increased the utilization of said goods and services to an enormous degree. We have sold to the American Public an intentionally false model of what to eat. We have affirmed “healthy at any size” tropes that are knowing lies and directly cause chronic, painful and expensive diseases. We have run further tropes that extraordinarily high-risk behaviors, such as men screwing each other up the ass, are a fundamental human right for which others must pay all associated medical costs. We have tried to tell the military that people who enlist with the specific goal of having a quarter million dollars of voluntary surgery done because they are unhappy with being born with a pair of testicles is not only their right but it is someone else’s duty to pay for it. And we have allowed so-called social media and political police to enforce your silent acceptance of all of those tropes lest you be attacked professionally, socially and in some cases physically.