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Nov 13, 2016

Is It All Going Down The Drain? Probably.


via Market-ticker, 2016-11-13  
by Karl Denninger

Compare these two pages:
First, Candidate Trump:
5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals.Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
.....
7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.
Now read what President-Elect Trump has said.
Where did #5 and #7 go?
The rest is pretty much there, with a few additions.
Where is any hint of any sort, now that he has won and no longer can be claimed to be "shoving Granny down the stairs" as a campaign tactic, of breaking up medical monopolies.  Thisand only this, is why health care costs are so high.  Between prescription drug importation bans (a monopolistic practice Congress created out of whole cloth, and thus Congress can repeal) to CON laws to refusal to post and quote prices to practices such as a differential billing (which is responsible for Michigan having car insurance that's 3x as expensive as states without it for starters) this has utterly disappeared.  This is the issue that must be addressed and this act must take place NOW or our nation dies fiscally within the next four to five years.  This is not a maybe, it is not a possibility, it is immutable mathematical fact.

Remember that socialist medicine in most of the developed world manages to deliver better health care outcomes than we have at half the cost per person.  Capitalism always outperforms socialism for the simple reason that a capitalist system adds an incentive to bash your competitors over the head with price right up to the limit of excess margin.  That is it adds price discovery as an incredibly powerful cudgel and drives incentives to remove inefficiencies and improve productivity, thereby allowing competitors to undercut one another on price even further.  This means that a capitalist system minus the existing monopolies would wind up delivering health care at one fifth to one tenth of today's cost and also deliver superior outcomes!  If you think this is impossible then explain the $95 MRI you can buy today in Japan (which is not a third-world country) .vs. the same scan that costs $1,000 or more here.

My concern as expressed during the campaign in multiple Tickers was that without a firm commitment to break up the medical monopolies we had no standard by which to judge.  The push-back was that Trump would be accused of throwing Granny off the mountain if he took such a position and the army of health lobbyists would band together to try to destroy his campaign with lies and innuendo (which in reality was all about protecting their jobs and not your health), and would likely succeed.  Ok.  Fair enough.

But now the campaign is over and there is utterly no reason to not put forward said intentions if he ever had them.
As I pointed out at the time I was skeptical that any such intention was ever present.
It appears on the weight of the evidence thus far that I was right.

The evidence for that light you saw a few days ago being, in fact, the sun rising is fading fast.  The manifest weight of the evidence appears to be that it in fact was a fireworks display and, while perhaps some light will leak in around the edges in various ways the most-serious issue the nation faces, and the one that will destroy us during the next President's term is being intentionally ignored yet again.  Yes, it's good that President-Elect Trump will roll back many regulations including those on guns, because you're probably going to need them to protect yourself and your family. Prepare for the darkness, in short, because the odds are rising, not falling, that it is coming.
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