Ernie Dumas: Obamacare will help Arkansas

HALT: Halting Arkansas Liberals with Truth

Great clip from Milton Friedman in speech at Mayo Clinic in 1978



On July 8, 2010 Ernie Dumas wrote the article “Health law gains acceptance in Arkansas: There is a lot to like, including cash infusion for state” which was published by the Arkansas Times. Over and over in this article the praises of Obama’s health care law are sung. However, if the past can be used as a predictor of the future then the article misses the mark. Furthermore, in that article Dumas attempts to get Governor Beebe to endorse his thesis but the governor is wise enough not to jump on board so fast. Dumas wrote:

He still is concerned that a sharply expanded Medicaid program will put a significant burden on the state, even if it is eight or nine years away.

“It would be easy for me to say that it will be fine until 2017 or later since I won’t be here,” Beebe said. “I may not be here next January and for sure I won’t be here in 2017. But I have a responsibility to look at the impact things will have long after I leave.”

Unlucky for Dumas just two months later the Associated Press reported on September 9, 2010 the verdict on the cost of the new health legislation according to a government forecast. The conclusion was that “the nation’s health care tab will go up–not down –as a result of President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul.” The Chicago Tribune went on to comment:

“Well, duh. You can’t expand coverage by 32 million Americans and figure that will hold costs down. The Democrats sold health care to Americans with a lot of fuzzy accounting and shaky assertions about how relatively inexpensive all this would be”( September 23, 2010).

That reminds me of a youtube video I saw of Milton Friedman in a speech he delivered at the Mayo Clinic back in 1978. In it he referred to a british study by a Dr Max Gammon.

Dr. Max Gammon worked in the British National Health Service (NHS), and his study of it, beginning in the 1960s, led him to enunciate what he called “the theory of bureaucratic displacement.” In his words in what later became known as Gammon’s Law:

“In a bureaucratic system, an increase in expenditure will be matched by a fall in production. Such systems act rather like ‘black holes’ in the economic universe, simultaneously sucking in resources and shrinking in terms of ‘emitted production’.”
Dr. Gammon measured the NHS’s productivity by comparing two simple variables: inputs (defined as the number of employees) and output (measured as the number of hospital beds). He found that while inputs had increased sharply, output had actually fallen.

In fact, from 1965 to 1973 the input went up with hospital staff going up by 28% and administrative staff by 41% but the output (measured by beds occupied daily) went down by 11%. It was not for a want of patients since there was during that time period an average waiting list of 600,000 people.

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