In this post I talked about how universal health care, though popular, was probably doomed to failure. One of people who left a comment was Kevin Fleming, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic. I thought the comment deserved its own post:
The problem with your arguments is they make too much sense. You are pointing out a law of scarcity and competing interests that is as unalterable as the law of gravity.
However, 30 years of foucauldian postmodern critique has led to arguments that either ignore such laws or deride them as evil. As a physician interested in economics, I noticed that the paper in JAMA ushering in the latest proposal for a government-run national health care program elicited not a single critique of its basic paradigm, one that had already been proven false.
That is, despite the fact that the socializm has failed repeatedly throughout the 20th century, not one editor (or reader for that matter) challenged their assumptions. My attempts to rebut this in their journal (and subsequently seven other major journals) were soundly rejected. Pointed criticisms of my papers included the idea that they were “ideologic” (Hayek apparently being an ideology), despite the fact that any plan advocating a social-ist scheme is by nature ideologic as well.
If I were to post my writings here, your readers would probably laugh at their economic simplicity. But doctors are very often terrible at economics, and the leftist infection afflicting major universities has not escaped academic medicine. Plainly stated, the academic medical establishment does not want to hear objections, because they are, tautologically, right.
Rejecting any and all such criticism is, in the world of medicine, similar to proposing a new cure-all drug that has no side-effects, but failing to produce any evidence that it worked. Such a paper would never get published. Faux economics is different, because, as I stated, doctors know as much about economics as they do about farming.
Megan McArdle once observed that university professors assumed that they were experts in all subjects since they managed to master one. It’s unfortunate that most physicians seem to have the same failing.