CURE's Clergy Network signs letter to Congress on healthcare price fixing

December 1st, 2019

Dear Republican Members of the House and Senate,

We represent fiscal conservatives and free market activists from across the country, and we are concerned about the direction the health care policy debate is moving.

There is no doubt that left-of-center politicians have as one of their central goals a "Medicare for All" style socialized healthcare scheme that will raise our taxes, limit our choices, and ration our care.

However, what is troubling is how often otherwise right-of-center policymakers are resorting to one of the key pillars of the Medicare for All playbook--government imposed price controls. Whether it is called price fixing, rate setting, subsidy capping, or inflation capping, government price controls have wormed their way into the healthcare reform plans of too many of our friends in Washington.

Government price controls have always been opposed by fiscal conservatives, and for good reason. They lead directly to scarcity of a product, since the government is forcing the provider to sell below the market price. This scarcity then means the government gets to ration who gets the product. Before long, the government is telling one person they get to have the price controlled good or service that day, and tells another person they cannot.

This was a bad idea a half century ago with gasoline line rationing, and it's a bad idea today in health care. Something can only be affordable if it's available to buy in the first place.