The Wall Street Journal has now published its second op-ed piece in three months warning of a doctor "shortage" and calling for increased federal spending to fix it. The first called on Congress to "increase doctor pay." The second, which, like the first, is written by a doctor, Darrell Kirch, calls on Congress to "lift the freeze on support for medical training." In fact, there's no such freeze; as I reported the last time the Journal ran a piece like this, federal support for graduate medical training grew to $8.8 billion in 2007 from $6.9 billion in 2000 and $6 billion in 1995. Only in the topsy-turvy world of ever-escalating medical costs does an increase to $8.8 billion from $6 billion qualify as a "freeze." There is a federal limit on the number of residency slots, which is a different thing altogether from the nonexistent supposed "freeze" on "support for medical training." It shouldn't surprise anyone that a government effort to control the supply of physicians would cause a shortage. Genuinely free markets are dynamic and self-correcting; efforts by government central planners to control supply lead to shortages. Dr. Kirch wants Congress to take more money from taxpayers, many of whom are poorer than doctors and who paid for their own graduate training, if they got any, and use it to add to the $8.8 billion in subsidies for graduate training that already goes to doctors. It's a reverse Robin-Hood. Why should a lawyer who put himself through law school and is now working at a district attorney's office or as an associate at a law firm have money taken from him by force by the government to pay for the training of some dermatologist who is going to make $4.8 million a year or some reproductive endocrinologist who is going to make $3 million a year? Those are real reported salaries. One can understand why people who run these graduate programs would advocate for this; they are an interest group that wants more money from the government. But just because an interest group asks for more money from Washington doesn't always mean it's the best thing for the country as a whole.