Thomas Sowell discusses price controls today, in the context of health care:
What does the history of thousands of years of price controls tell us?
The first thing undermined or destroyed is self-rationing. When you pay the full price of going to a doctor, you go there when you have a broken leg but not when you have the sniffles or a minor skin rash. When the government makes health care “affordable,” you go there for sniffles and a minor skin rash.
The underlying reality has not changed, however. The doctor’s time is still limited, and the time that you take up with your sniffles or skin rash is time that somebody else with a broken leg — or perhaps cancer — has to wait to get an appointment.
Government-run health-care systems in countries around the world have longer waits — sometimes months — to get medical attention. In other words, the rationing goes on, but more haphazardly, because prices do not force people to ration themselves according to the seriousness of their problem.
This is a fact I pointed out in my recent Rapid City Journal column, and on this blog. Price controls would be an absolute reality in a national health care scenario. It's also quite possible and even probably that they may become a reality even in our hybrid system that is still able to pass itself off as "free market."
I've said before that our current system stinks. But more government intervention will only make things go from bad to worse. If the current trend of socialization continues, in 10-20 years, people will long for the good ole days of 2007.
Instead, we need to find ways to get more people more involved in not only their health care decisions, but more involved in paying for that care.
For the record: I'm not rich, just frugal when it comes to health care spending.