Free Market Health Care

One of the problems with the Left is that they are convinced that the government is the solution to everything. They even think this when the problem they are trying to correct is caused by government interference.  Take health care. Government regulation and red tape has dramatically increased the cost of health insurance and medical care. AMA-lobbied restrictions placed on medical schools limit the number of medical school and medical students — and hence the number of doctors — so that there won’t be so many doctors that their salaries decrease. Courts support frivilous malpractice suits. The proposed solution? More government control of the medical industry.

Tom Jahn at American Thinker presents a novel remedy for the problems of health care: allow the free market to take hold.

Without a third-party payer, health care consumers would order fewer tests. They would explore less-expensive alternative treatments and medications, resulting in self-rationing. Self-rationing is important because a major problem in adding millions of new people onto the health insurance rolls is availability of physicians. Following implementation of Massachusetts’ universal health insurance program the average wait to see a physician has increased to more than two months.
There is no question that instituting a plan whereby individuals pay directly to their doctors will work for those who now have employer-based health insurance. One proven method that has controlled health care costs is health savings accounts. Employers place a certain amount of employees’ pre-tax earnings into accounts that employees control and spend on health care, and the employer buys a high-deductible catastrophic insurance policy to pay for amounts in excess of the employee contribution. Unused portions each year can be accrued for future use by employees.
Critics maintain that this type of approach will not work for the population at large, but this is wrong-headed. Market based solutions are the only way to halt or reverse the trends of ever-increasing health care costs and steadily declining coverage by employers. The challenge is to extend health insurance to those who cannot pay based upon risk assessment and manageable resources, not entitlement. Congress recoils at the thought of confronting entitlement excesses because elected officials see it as a political loser. It need not be that way.
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  1. #1 by futiledemocracy on Fri 26 Feb 2010 - 09:44

    The problem with Republicans is you think the market solves everything.
    We in the UK have government run healthcare.
    We pay less that your private healthcare as a % of GDP.
    Our child mortality rate is better than yours.
    Our life expectancy is far better than yours.
    Our system (despite the scare stories propagated by Fox News) is 18th in the World. The USA’s is 36th, according to the World Health Organisation.
    Socialised medicine works, whether the Republican’s neoliberal dogma says it should it not.

    • #2 by The Republican Heretic on Fri 26 Feb 2010 - 11:55

      Those are the exact same talking points you posted earlier. Don’t you have any other propaganda?

      Let’s look at how well your socialized medicine works:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article7039285.ece

      http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/@ps/documents/digitalasset/dh_113068.pdf

      ‘Patients were routinely neglected or left “sobbing and humiliated” by staff at an NHS trust where at least 400 deaths have been linked to appalling care.

      ‘An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs.

      ‘The inquiry report, published yesterday by Robert Francis, QC, included proposals for tough new regulations that could lead to managers at failing NHS trusts being struck off.

      ‘Staff shortages at Stafford Hospital meant that patients went unwashed for weeks, were left without food or drink and were even unable to get to the lavatory. Some lay in soiled sheets that relatives had to take home to wash, others developed infections or had falls, occasionally fatal. Many staff did their best but the attitude of some nurses “left a lot to be desired”. ‘

      And look, I didn’t even have to check Fox News! Your own government documented that one for me!

      Or are these people just bread gobblers who aren’t contributing enough to the revolution?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/may/16/health-nhs

      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161650.php

      If this is working, I’d hate to see what you consider failure.

      And for the record, no, I don’t think the market can solve everything. I think liberty can solve everything. The problem with socialists is that they think that government control and coercion can solve everything. And what it can’t solve, it hides, or blames on the free market.

  2. #3 by LOUDelf on Fri 26 Feb 2010 - 10:45

    “We pay less that your private healthcare as a % of GDP.” That’s why we’re looking to go free-market with our system. People cannot shop across state lines in the US, resulting in a lack of competition.

    Please don’t bring up the WHO, as it’s goal is to socialize medicine. It’s rating system is slanted to point toward its system as a solution. Plainly, the ratings are bogus at best.

    Case in point with the statistics: You point out that your life expectancy is greater. But the difference is about .8 years. Taking into account the differences between the two countries, I think it has nothing to do with the healthcare systems that figure into this — the US’ immigrant population alone that has lived here for that time averages much less than your born-and-bred Americans due to poor health from the originating country in most cases, added stress of acclimation, etc. Strip that for the immigrant (legal and illegal) population here in the US acounting for many millions of people, it would easily be higher than the UK.

    What I want to know though, is why are there VASTLY more people who travel from the UK every year to the US for medical procedures, than the other way around? Do they come here for the WORSE healthcare?

    Of the Brits I’ve met state-side, I’ve never had ONE tell me that they left a better care system.

    To further speak to the blog’s point. The second the Commonwealth of Massachusetts mandated health insurance for all, the premiums sky-rocketed, and access plummeted. Ironically, the state actually partially deregulated their auto insurance, which was among the highest in regulation and cost and lowest in performance, and now the state has middle-of-the road costs, and above average performance.

    The US was founded to escape oppressive government, and rightly so. Maybe the rest of the world has ultra-efficient and non-corrupt government (I hope you read the sarcasm in that), but the US has found that pretty much anything the government does is more costly, less efficient, and lower quality, than our private businesses do. Adding healthcare to the power of government will do irreparable damage not only to our health, but to our economy. Simply put, we can’t afford it, monetarily or physically.

  3. #4 by Jeremy Westenn on Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 19:43

    I will state that it is well established that the statistics from the man in the UK are correct. Also, the House and Senate bills help to establish more healthcare in America, but neither set up a government run system or public option- and they ensure about 30 millions Americans whereas the conservative solution is to keep relying on the status quo(what exists now), because the free market will inevitably take care of it(Hasn’t happened for decades), and their proposals only insure a new 5 million. Yeah. Anyways…

    • #5 by The Republican Heretic on Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 23:23

      Those statistic are based upon false premises and biased assumptions of how to rate “good” health care. The current bill sin the House and the Senate don’t “establish more health care,” they force people to buy health insurance they don’t want or need, or fine them if they don’t. Stop conflating health insurance with health care. They also regulate what is included on policies and who must be covered by what, and institute controls that will raise prices and limit the availability of health care.

      And the conservative is not to maintain the status quo — it is to institute tort reform and reduce government controls and regulations. I can’t imagine how you can possibly argue that the current heavily regulated and lobbied system is somehow free market. That’s the same nonsense argument that was used after the housing market collapsed: “The fact that this heavily regulated and government controlled industry failed proves that the free market didn’t work! These government controlled and heavily regulated banks also failed, and that proves even more that the free market doesn’t work! The only answer is to implement government controls and regulations!” Huh?

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