Cap and Trade and Health Care

America’s new cap and trade system for energy as a result of the Waxman-Marxley legislation is designed to reduce energy use. It does this by increasing the price of energy through rationing – that is, putting a cap on energy use. After this cap is in place, the market must re-adjust to a new, higher cost of energy.

This is interesting because, as Time points out, health care is America’s second most energy intensive industry.

Square foot by square foot, hospitals use twice as much energy as office buildings. Health care is the second most energy-intensive industry in the U.S., after food service and sales, with energy costs of $6.5 billion a year — a number that continues to rise. As the nation’s 78 million baby boomers age, their need for medical services will dramatically increase.

Since health care is so energy intensive and the government is increasing the cost of energy, we can expect the costs of running hospitals and other health care facilities to go up, effectively increasing health care costs – just the latest example of government driving up health care costs.

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