Yesterday at Reason.tv: Would ObamaCare Kill Medical Innovation?


As health care reform inches closer to reality, a massively important question becomes even more pressing: Will ObamaCare kill the sorts of medical innovation that makes the United States the leader in bringing new treatments, technology, and procedures to market?

"America is the only industrialized nation that doesn't have a national health plan," says Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), and countless others who want the United States government to guarantee health coverage to all.

Protesters at a recent rally in downtown Los Angeles demanded universal coverage. They told Reason.tv that America is a cruel land where profits come before people.

"It's disgusting!" said one woman. "There should be no profits in health care!" What about those who argue that profits drive medical innovation? "I think that's kind of sick," declared another protester, who wants the U.S. to be more like Canada, where government policy keeps drug prices, and drug company profits, lower than in America.

Many regard the profit motive as cruel, but might it actually produce compassionate results? After all, America has generated vastly more medical innovations than other nations. Included in the long list is the innovation that saved the life of Dave Christensen, construction supervisor, husband, and father. After being diagnosed with cancer, Christensen was lucky enough to be given a then-experimental drug that probably wouldn't have been developed or brought to market in any other country in the world.

If America follows the lead of the rest of the world and clamps down on profits in health care, who will make tomorrow's wonder drugs?

"Drug companies that take big risks may make big profits," says Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie, who hosts the video. "But I say, Good for them. If they're saving lives, I hope they make a killing."

"Would ObamaCare Kill Medical Innovation?" runs about seven minutes. Producer-Writer: Ted Balaker; Producer: Hawk Jensen; Director of Photography: Alex Manning; Associate Producer: Paul Detrick.

Special thanks to the Independence Institute for arranging and underwriting travel to Canada.

Go here for embed code and downloadable versions.

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Original release date: November 23, 2009.

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  1. Do the “Profits are Evil” folks protest against the profits *their* employers make? Just askin’.

    1. What makes you think they have jobs?

      1. Momentary lapse of reason.

  2. “But I say, Dood for them.” Wah? Do the kids say that now?

  3. Would Obamacare kill medical id socila security lead to communism? Did jazz make white people go crazy? Man, the questions right wing moonbats will raise.

  4. Edward, kill yourself.

  5. The concept that profits are evil, is the root of all tyranny and mass murder. Every murderous ideology of the last two centuries has been based on the idea that people motivated by profit are so evil that the state must control or destroy them.

    I think it revealing of our unconscious cultural assumptions that we have a single word “greed” to describe the concept of the destructive pursuit of wealth but we have no such word to describe the destructive pursuit of power.

    I suggest we use“Preedy” as the counterpart to “greedy”.

    We have reverted to a pre-industrial mindset in which we venerate those we seek power and hold in contempt those who create and trade non-violently. Someone like Obama has spent his entire adult life trying to hijack the violence based mechanisms of the state so that he can impose his will on his fellow citizens. He’s never created any material good. He’s never created food, clothing, shelter, medical care or even so much as cup of good coffee. He just repeatedly attacked and coerced others to bend them to his will. For this, he is venerated as a superior human being.

    It wasn’t always like this. In the 1800’s, politics was considered a low-status occupation and industrialist were treated like rock stars. That era saw an explosion in the standard living never matched since. Now, we are reverting back to the historical norm and admiring those who wield the sword or those who grow the grain.

    This will not end well.

    1. Dammit, hit submit instead of preview. That last sentence should read.

      Now, we are reverting back to the historical norm and admiring those who wield the sword over those who grow the grain.

  6. If America follows the lead of the rest of the world and clamps down on profits in health care, who will make tomorrow’s wonder drugs?

    The government will, silly. Because if the government does it, it’s free.

  7. http://www.breitbart.com/artic….._article=1

    Story about a man in Belgium who was thought to be in a coma for 23 years. This part caught my eye:

    “His mother, Fina Houben, said in a telephone interview that they took him five times to the United States for tests.”

    As it turns out, the trips to the United States did not solve the problem. But, why take a patient out of a utopian system to have him diagnosed by people with evil profit motives?

    1. And the “let’s return to 70’s technology” being pushed, so that everyone can be covered would preclude this man, condemning him to a lifetime of true misery.

      I wonder how many PET scanners will be around once the One True Way is forced upon us? They’re very expensive to purchase and operate.

  8. “It’s disgusting!” said one woman. “There should be no profits in health care!”

    You know what’s disgusting? A whole bunch of something-for-nothing, mooching, arrogant, ungrateful fellow Americans – that’s what. The sorry beggars deserve to have the health care system collapse along with everything else. Trouble is, a whole bunch of us don’t deserve that.

  9. Have our socialized not-for-profit fire departments killed firetruck innovation? Have our socialized not-for-profit sewer systems killed plumbing innovation? Not yet, but by God these commie sewers will eventually kill the American spirit.

    1. we dont put price controls in place for sewers and fire services so the market, which produces these goods, and sells them to local governments still innovates. EU healthcare systems keep costs donw by placing price controls and limiting access, reducing the profit motive substancially. Thats the difference.

  10. The argument that ObamaCare will kill medical innovation, while a solid argument, probably won’t be very fruitful. It’s not an argument that would change anybody’s mind; too conjectural.

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