Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tramatic Increase In Costs for Trauma Center

The proposed trauma system in the state is a perfect example of why government should do as little as possible. Having a trauma system in the state is probably a good idea. We may even get some of the money back in the form of reduced insurance premiums and saved lives. But how much does it cost and where will it come from?

First they were saying it would cost 26 million dollars to get it started. But now, thanks to the magic power of government to increase costs, magnify waste, and generate inefficiency it appears that the start up cost has already ballooned to over 80 million dollars for 26 million dollars of trauma system. A usually reliable source says that difference in cost is in the amount of pork the Governor is promising to legislators in order to buy their votes for the system.

So that is democracy in action. The free market would get you 26 million dollars of trauma system for 26 million dollars, with costs born primarily by those who benefit from it. Democratic sausage-making gets you 26 million dollars of trauma system for 82 million dollars, and the costs will be shifted to some group who is a convenient target rather than a beneficiary of the system. This time it is smokers. Next time it might be left-handed coon hunters with hair on their knuckles. Heck, they may need to switch to them to pay for THIS bill if modern science produces a pill which breaks nicotine addiction and significantly reduces smoking.

This is what a government-as-organized-plunder philosophy has brought us to. Each interest group teams with the government to search for a less influential group to stick with the costs for its pet project. It is a constant search for people to loot. That means each group of people must lobby government to protect itself from being the next victim. We spend less and less time making our own fortune by serving others through real production and spend more and more of it fending off attacks by government on us and organizing attacks with government on the pockets of others.


Anonymous Chuck said...

Great thoughts. Not only will the original cost of the trauma center balloon, just wait until you see the O&M costs; several-hundred- thousand-dollar physician salaries, huge nursing & other staff costs, not to mention the cost of buying the very latest, state-of-the-art equipment to protect the doctors from malpractice claims, all paid for by the smokers. I'd like to see smokers take a month off from smoking in protest and watch the cigarette tax money disappear; who knows, after a month off, they might be able to quit permanently.
"Constant search for people to loot" is the silent mental mantra of government. And you are right, the ones without lobbyists are the next victims who will have their ox gored. But at some point, there are no more victims to loot, and that's when the house of cards collapses.

7:53 AM, January 22, 2009  

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