A Question for Single-Payer Proponents

by Don Boudreaux on June 6, 2011

in Competition, Health

I have a question for anyone who believes that a single-payer health-care system (where the single payer is government) will reduce the quality-adjusted cost of health-care: will a single-payer pet-food system (where the single-payer for pet food is government) reduce the quality-adjusted cost of pet food?  That is, under a single-payer pet-food system (with government as the single payer) will consumers be better supplied, at a lower cost, with pet food than consumers are supplied today with a free market, myriad-payer system for the provision of pet food?

If not, why would a single-payer system for health-care reduce the quality-adjusted cost of health-care?  But if so, why not socialize the entire American economy given that a single-payer system (with government as the single payer) would clearly deserve the presumption of being a superior method of economic organization than myriad-payer free markets?


Although I’ve not seen such a question asked before, I have little doubt that I’m not the first person to ask it.

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Molon Lobe June 13, 2011 at 1:01 am


I did not miss your point. Clearly you desire free services under the guise of “social expectations.” Pray explain what these are.

You failed to answer my observations about a resturant denying a man dying of stravation food. Do your social expectations condone these circumstances? There is no social expectation that unlimited funds be used to lengthen the life of a 99 year old smoker dying of lung cancer is there? Why? Your argument holds no evidence of a reasoned argument just the bold assertion that we must provide free health care?

Its neither moral nor reasonable for me to pay for a risky lifestyle of some stranger. Nor should my family have the food taken from their mouths to support the life style of drug addicts or perverts. Please explain why the public must provide a kidney transplant for the alcoholic dying in the hospital parking lot who refuses to mend his ways?

Single payer has nothing to do with medical treatment. If you do not understand this distinction you are either arguing from a false premise or under a false flag.

Which is it?

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