Even More Obamacare Fallout

| November 18, 2012

Another predictable outcome of government-run healthcare is that of shortages.

The reason is simple.  Excessive regulation, pressure to keep prices artificially low, and reimbursement limitations all drive manufacturers and providers towards other businesses.

That’s simply due to human nature.  If a given craft or business doesn’t provide a decent profit for the level-of-effort required, sooner or later people involved will simply become fed-up and will do something else.

What’s that you say?  It won’t happen here with US healthcare?

Think again.  It’s already happening.

Remember that prescription drug shortage that began a couple of year ago?  Well, now it’s looking to be a persistent if not permanent part of US healthcare.

Yes, the issue has many causes.  But among those causes is manufacturers leaving the market.

Temporary shortages are a reaction to a temporary market imbalance.  They’re generally controlled by temporary price rises, followed by increased production.

But chronic shortages show a structural problem.  And I’m willing to bet that here it’s largely a self-inflicted issue due to excessive regulation and/or government control.

Get used to such things.  Under AHCA, I’m guessing you’ll be seeing shortages like this in all healthcare fields in a few years, not just prescription drugs.

‘Cause when there’s only so much money to go around and an unlimited demand for free stuff, well . . . .

Category: Economy, Health Care debate

Comments (12)

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  1. Instinct says:

    It’s already happening in the medial field with shortages of GP, OBGYN and Pediatricians.

    Insurance is too high, regulations are to overbearing, and add in that if you made the mistake of doing Medicare or Medicaid the gov has been only paying around 40% of what it costs you to do business.

    Those cost savings to the government end up getting passed on to everyone else and driving up your insurance. Then the government comes in and ‘fixes’ it with Obamacare – yeah, what could go wrong

  2. Medic09 says:

    I work in critical care transport and the ER. We are continually having to change protocols and substitute drugs because of shortages of essential emergency and critical care drugs. So, let’s think one step further forward. First we have shortages because American manufacturers are making less or not at all. The vacuum cannot persist for long before foreign factories start supplying the drugs. So not only is healthcare affected; but jobs will also end up going overseas. Way to go.

  3. OWB says:

    There surely are a couple of things that regulation from DC has actually improved, but off hand, I can think of none.

  4. valerie says:

    We went through this with the regulation of gasoline prices, and that was a commodity. The thing about prescription drugs is that there is a lead time to bring manufacturing on line, much less research.

  5. Hack Stone says:

    Don’t forget the cost of lawsuits on the pharmaceutical industry. You have these ambulance chasing lawers(SIC) saying “You may be entitled to compensation” for some illness (real or imagined) that you didn’t even know you have.

  6. DaveO says:

    Rule #2 of Society (good for the last few thousand years):

    The Black Market Is Boss

    The only question is one of currency. I recommend obtaining Canadian currency.

  7. OWB says:

    As of 1 Jan several major insurance companies will seriously change what they pay at our local hospitals. Premiums go up, patient pays more for hospitalization. Yeah, that makes sense.

    Gee, thanks Obama, and the minions who adore you. Guess this is your idea of “affordable care?”

  8. DaveO says:

    Obamacare was only about securing a significant profit slice of the multi-trillion healthcare boom that is just starting to arrive.

    For stuff to be affordable, profit suffers. Profits increase when supply is restricted commensurate to demand.

    The peasants already had medical care free to them, under USC going back to 1986.

    The real medical crisis is the lack of qualified, certified MD in America.

  9. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Well, when things get bad enough, the US government will actually buy or build factories and start producing meds and other stuff. People will line up for the jobs and then we’ll have yet another dose of the USSR circa 1965. This is only the beginning. You MUST buy a healthcare plan. No, you’re doctor will likely not be available to you. Yes, you will have a bureaucrat approve or disapprove recommended treatment. Yes, your dollars will support “family planning.” Yes, someone you know will die as a result of this fiasco. It’s just a matter of when. Congratulations, America. You got what you elected–twice!

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    @AirCav, you left out the part about decidiing which hospitals will stay open and which ones will close, which is going on now in the UK.

    Never live further than 15 minutes from a hospital if you want to live through a stroke.

    Either that or go to a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. You’re likely to live longer.

  11. NHSparky says:

    We’ve been seeing it for a while now. Look at flu vaccines, children’s vaccines, etc.

    Can’t wait to see what happens if/when a pandemic breaks out. Whee.

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    I ran across this story when I was looking at something else. It’s about rising costs of health care and the deportation of elderly people in Germany.


    The state insurance program Krankenkassen is running out of money to pay for senior health care. This is what Medicare is supposed to take care of in the USA, but the rising costs of health care, and supplemental and prescription insurance premiums (Parts C & D) and for retired service members Tricare, will have a direc effect on whether or not any of us can pay for anything at all, like food and electricity.