Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wise Massachusetts Solons realize value of central planning of health care

The Massachusetts legislature and governor realizing the incredible success of central economic planning from their study of the history of the 2oth century have acted decisively to control the amount of medical expenditures for the state and as a bonus to increase the quality of medicine.

See here for a news item on the new Mass. Plan to control all health care costs and here for my earlier comments.

The lessons of the Soviet collectivizing the farms and controlling the economy were not lost to the folks in Boston . The value of central planning could not have been more clear as they studied the success of the communist Chinese implementing collective farming . They could see from the iconic night time view of North and South Korea the success of a rationally controlled economy. The legislators were able to discern the real reason for the Berlin Wall was to exclude the west Germans from sharing in the economic miracle of East Germany.

They followed in the foot steps of fellow Massachusetts residents such as Paul Samuelson whose text book as late as the 1960s lauded the superiority of the soviet economic planning over the less efficient, plodding relatively free marker economy of the US and of John Kenneth Galbraith who advised a struggling Indian economy to adopt the successful five year type planning of USSR. Probably they had studied basic economics and learned that there was no way better than wage and price controls to abolish shortages and increase quality of goods and services.

As much praise as they they deserve for their historical and economic scholarship perhaps they should only receive a grade of B+ for they missed one important lesson that the Soviet leaders soon learned in their efforts to turn a sleepy backward agrarian nation into an industrial behemoth. That lesson put poetically is you have to crack eggs to make an omelet or more crudely you may have to starve a few million citizens to nudge them to get with the program.

The legislator failed to put any real teeth in the program.Without penalties for failure to meet the growth guidelines (ie not grow too much) the program mostly consisted of a suggestion to not spend too much on health care. Of course, that oversight can easily be corrected at the next session of the legislature should the citizens of the state fail to prudently act in the interest of the collective.

Satire and sarcasm aside, three hundred plus pages of dense,self referential prose do not get written solely on the basis of economic ignorance and historical illiteracy. ( OK sometimes they seem to) . Public policy theory suggests that things happen for a reason and that self interest of groups often initiate and devise legislation. Who profits from this bill? I don't know but the laudatory comments of the Massachusetts Hospital Association and Blue Cross regarding the legislation makes me think of a place to start in the inquiry.


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