Saturday, August 21, 2010

To All WHo Think the Free Market is Self-Regulating.

OK, if all the bad medicine being sold, all the products being recalled, including cars, eggs, baby cribs -- all with potential to injure or kill were not enough to justify government intervention to protect people from greedy or careless capitalists, here is another reason why laissez faire capitalism is dangerous.

The fact that so many medical instruments used in hospitals look alike and are interchangeable leads to errors that can and has killed patients or made them much sicker. Efforts to force manufacturers to design tubes, e. g., for a distinctive purpose -- feeding or introducing fluids in veins, etc. are being resisted because it might affect their profit margins.
Advocates in California got legislation passed in 2008 that would have mandated that feeding tubes no longer be compatible with tubes that go into the skin or veins by 2011. But in 2009, AdvaMed, the manufacturers’ trade association, successfully pushed legislation to delay the bill’s effects until 2013 and 2014 or until the international standards group reaches a decision. 

Three cheers for an interventionist government to protect life, health, and to promote the common good. 

Phooey on you, Milton Friedman, and all your kind.

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