So why do many of our politicians think that price fixing will work for medicine?  And why are they not being prosecuted for attempting to fix prices to eliminate competition?

Throughout history, when governments have fixed prices for any service or product, that service or product has fallen into short supply.  It seems ironic that with all the history proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that price fixing creates shortages, that our political leaders would be attempting to fix prices on medical services.  But, that is what they are doing.  Both the Senate and House proposals on “Health Care Reform” will fix prices to a government formula.

In most countries of the world, Price Fixing is criminal behavior and subject to huge fines and even jail time.  Typically, Price Fixing is used by those who want to corner a market and want to drive prices (and Profits) as high as they can, or by competitors who work together to try to put another competitor out of business.  Price fixing is one of the key actionable features of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  It is the reason we have a FTC.

fedtradecomm.jpg

The Sherman Antitrust Act was written in 1890.  It only had 7 sections and used less than 900 words.  They weren’t trying to hide anything like you can in a 1990 page piece of legislation.   Here are the first two sections (the first 200 words):

Section 1. Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; penalty

Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or
conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several
States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every
person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or
conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of
a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine
not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other
person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years,
or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

Section 2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or
combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize
any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with
foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on
conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding
$10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or
by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said
punishments, in the discretion of the court.

Since the actions of the Democrats in both the House and the Senate have clearly been conspiring to fix prices and eliminate private competition, why has no group sued them under the Sherman Antitrust Act?

My next post (time permitting) will be my 1000 word or less bill to effect reform of our health care system.  It really doesn’t take 1990 pages when you aren’t hiding anything.

Advertisements