Health Care’s A Mess–So What’s the Solution?

by | Jun 20, 2007 | Healthcare

They say health care in the United States is outrageously expensive because of a failure of the free market. But we don’t have a free market in health care. States throughout the country regulate private health insurance, and have turned it into a one-size-fits-all system not that much different from the way a state-run system […]

They say health care in the United States is outrageously expensive because of a failure of the free market. But we don’t have a free market in health care. States throughout the country regulate private health insurance, and have turned it into a one-size-fits-all system not that much different from the way a state-run system would work. The only difference is that private insurance companies are still allowed to operate at a profit since, after all, they bear the risk (as does any business) of losing as well as gaining. If private insurance companies were completely deregulated, and never prosecuted or punished other than for fraud or breach of contract, then you would see something very different from what we have today in medical care. Also, if Medicare had never come into existence, you’d have even more competition for health insurance among the elderly.

I share the frustration over today’s health care mess with those who think government is the solution. But what exactly will government give us?

Hillary and Obama, and all their Democratic colleagues, stand steadfastly behind the concept of universal coverage. A growing number of Republicans do as well. Universal coverage means one type of coverage for all patients. It means a single-payer: the U.S. government. It means a single boss for all doctors, nurses, surgeons, chiropractors, psychotherapists and nutritionists: the government.

Do you think the government will do for medical care and health insurance what it did for first-class mail and postage? Why would you want or even consider such a thing?

It’s better to consider the possibility that the market didn’t fail us in medical care…but it was never allowed to function. If you don’t want more of the same, which universal government coverage and control will provide, then consider something radically different: freedom in health care. Call on federal and state legislators to completely deregulate the health insurance industry at once. Call on Congress to phase out Medicare for the middle-aged and younger, allowing them to form tax-free savings for the future. Let’s take a chance on freedom, since it works so well in other areas and since government managed care will only turn our existing dysfunctional system into a nightmare, and most of us know it.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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