In this blog, the implementation of ObamaCare is often described as a “government takeover” of healthcare. ObamaCare does not implement a single-payer system for America, but by no stretch of the imagination can we consider the level of control over healthcare that ObamaCare contemplates to be consistent with a system based on com-petition (as some liberals suggest). Superimposing federal planning and control over the current system simply creates a false impression of a competitive market-based approach.
Rather than controlling costs by decentralizing power through the working of competitive insurance, hospital, and physician markets, ObamaCare seeks to control costs supposedly by generating efficiencies through “teamwork” (among providers) and by relying on the infamous “death panel” to sort through and determine which treatments will be made available to consumers. It’s unlikely the vaunted teamwork will deliver the desired efficiencies and even if it did, the indifference to competition in provider markets means that efficiencies would not pass through to consumers.
As a result, the central planners will simply resort to price controls (already used in Medicare and Medicaid) in an attempt to control costs. Price controls, together with restrictions on access, would represent a significant move toward more centralized planning and control of one-sixth of the world’s largest economy, inevitably leading to low quality, stagnation and decline for almost 20% of the economy.