Shouldcover costly cancer medications that add, on average, only four months to a person’s life? This is the debate behind Provenge, a prostate cancer vaccine. at points out how this debate would vanish:
If the government stayed out of health care, or just subsidized Medicare enrollees with a voucher, then [some people] could purchase coverage for expensive cancer treatments. [Others] could buy lower-cost insurance and donate the savings to scholarships.
Yet politicians and government bureaucrats dictate what type of insurance Medicare enrollees get, which means they also decide what enrollees will not get. And no matter where they draw the line, someone loses. …
The only way out is Medicare vouchers. In addition to being the most plausible way to reduce Medicare spending, vouchers are the only way to protect Medicare enrollees from government rationing.
Read the whole post: Provenge Controversy Argues for Medicare Vouchers.
A minor quibble I have is that the term “government writes:” is redundant. Don Watkins
The difference between prices and rationing is the difference between you choosing what groceries to buy and the government telling you what food you’re allowed to eat.
Or, as Ronald Bailey has pointed out:
It’s not rationing if an individual decides to spend his money on a 16-ounce steak—but it is rationing if he can only purchase a USDA prime rib eye when he has a coupon issued from a government agency. In other words, true rationing occurs when individuals are forbidden from spending their money on products or services they want to buy.