Once again government is picking winners and losers. In this case, I get to look no further than the Orange County Children and Families Commission (the local "First Five" Commission, which is financed through a mandated tobacco tax — there is a statewide commission, and then 58 county commissions, all happily redistributing wealth).
In yesterday’s Orange County Register there was a story that the OC First Five Commission is going to be dropping $125k in medical school loan forgiveness for six lucky government-chosen doctors. Specifically, for six pediatric specialists who meet the following criteria: The doctors must practice in Orange County and accept patients enrolled in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the state’s low-cost insurance program.
It has been well documented that California has a tough time attracting new doctors because of the high cost of living here, combined with the high costs of malpractice insurance (this is one of the most litigious states in the union, thanks to the domination of the California trial lawyers bar in Sacramento).
So government here in California enacts laws and regulations that make it hard for doctors to come here to practice — BUT (a big BUT), then we provide subsidies for certain doctors that are willing to practice certain kinds of medicine for certain kinds of patients.
Government again picks winners and losers.
Doesn’t sound very American, does it? I guess I don’t blame the First Five Commission folks for doing what they can with this pot of OPM (Other People’s Money) that is annually dumped in their laps, but we need to lower taxes (including tobacco taxes) and regulations and allow all those who want to practice medicine an equal opportunity to come to the Golden State, not give government enticements to a few.