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.