Oil companies and oil importing countries are harvesting billions of dollars with the spike in oil prices. They are obvious winners.
But there is a surprising positive side to oil spiking in price. It holds the potential of improving our health and lowering our health care costs!
Here’s how. One in four us are impacted by asthma and allergies. This is estimated to add $18 billion annually to our health care costs.
In recognition of these costs upon human well being and our pocket books the EPA has attempted to strength emission standards. But these efforts are facing strong backlash from those seeking to minimize government involvement at any costs.
But here’s the reason why I love economics. The market eventually overcomes bad public policy whether it is our lack of an Energy Policy or in mandating prudent regulation of harmful emissions.
In this case the higher price of oil will enable our personal health and lower our health care costs. Here’s how. Higher prices at the pump will reduce demand for gasoline as consumers discover and begin buying lower priced alternatives like more fuel efficient cars. And less gasoline consumption means less air pollution. And less air pollution means lower health care costs.
So part three of winners and losers results in our health being a winner as higher gasoline prices encourages all of us to be more efficient, resulting in all of us breathing healthier air.