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The Free Market Solution to Fixing Health Care
It's a common assumption that our current health care system is a free market one and that it's broken, thus we should try a government system. However this couldn't be further from the truth, as government is already involved at every level, from licensure and patents, to direct subsidies and provision, to employee mandates and insurance-pooling. This intervention is precisely what accounts for most of the problems people complain about--particularly the high cost. Meanwhile the private dimensions are what account for our systems merits as we are the leading nation when it comes to innovation, coming up with new procedures, medical devices and pharmacueticals that lengthen and improve people's lives.
We are going in the opposite direction of where we should be going: more control instead of more freedom, more spending instead of less, more mandates instead of fewer. The problems we have are being addressed by more of what caused the problems: the patient is being given more poison instead of the proper cure.
Here is the Free Market Solution to fix health care:
Eliminate all licensing requirements for medical schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and medical doctors and other health-care personnel. This would result in a steady increase in supply which would cause prices to fall and the variety of health-care services to increase.
Eliminate the FDA and all government restrictions on the production and sale of pharmacueticals and medical devices. Prices would fall and life-saving products would reach the market much sooner. A free market would allow consumers to assess risks on their own without the government doing it for them. Competition and products liability suits would cause sellers to offer increasingly better product descriptions and guarantees.
Deregulate the health insurance industry. Because a person's health lies increasingly within his own control, many health risks are actually uninsurable. You can't get insurance against suicide or bankruptcy because it is in your own hands to prevent or bring these things about, yet uninsurable risks are covered by government mandate, driving up costs. In addition health insurers cannot discriminate between various groups of people who pose significantly different insurance risks. Hence it is really a system of income redistribution that benefits irresponsible actors and high-risk groups at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups. Because of this, prices continue to balloon.
Eliminate all subsidies to the sick and unhealthy. Subsidies create more of whatever is being subsidized, subsidies for the ill and diseased promote carelessness, indigence, and dependency.