It is believed by some that increasing government involvement in medical care will take us toward fully socialized medicine. This trend is clearly against the interests of patients, physicians, and other health care personnel. There is of course, no such thing as “free” health care —you either pay for it directly, or via the tax system, with bureaucrats taking their usual cut along the way. The reality of the situation is that government involvement in the economics of medical care leads directly to higher costs for that care. Is there a special role for government in medical care?
As far is Milton is concerned, the current scenario would work out close to something like this, “The spending for the provision of medical care inevitably leads to control over the fees that are charged for medical care. And it should. If government is going to spend money, it ought to be concerned with what it pays for what it gets. Control over fees inevitably leads to control over the practices that are followed… over the behavior of the medical personnel. And if this trend continues, it inevitably leads to completely socialized medicine.”
Is he right? Hear more about what Milton has to say in the podcast, Milton Friedman Speaks – The Economics of Medical Care.