David Burge Updates

David Burge updates his journey with leukemia

Health care, The Free Market and the US

with one comment

A couple of friends have read with interest my ideas about the free market and healthcare. Both raised the example of the USA, suggesting that the market plays a bigger role in the US and healthcare is more expensive and access is limited for those without fat wallets.

Actually, the USA is not a good example of a free market at all. The “land of the free” is actually highly regulated and “protected”.

In an article entitled The Relentless Process of Socializing Health Care D.W. MacKenzie asks, “Why is American health care so expensive?” He answers:

“The federal government increases the cost of insurance by regulating insurance deductibles. Given the administrative costs of insuring routine health care, it would make more sense for consumers to pay out of pocket, instead of through insurance. Health care deductibles would enable us to economize on the administrative costs of insurance, but federal law won’t allow this. Also … the AMA [has a] monopoly on the supply of physicians. The American Medical Association has a history of restricting entry into the medical profession. AMA control on the supply of physicians has not helped health care affordability.

Finally, the court system and the Congress have failed to stem the tide of frivolous and fraudulent lawsuits in the United States. Excess litigation has affected the costs of health care. Doctors must carry expensive malpractice insurance. Also, doctors now practice “defensive medicine” by ordering unnecessary tests, so that, in the event of their being sued, juries will believe that they took every possible precaution.

Increased health care costs translate into higher insurance premiums.”

The links below discuss other dimensions of the problem:

A Four-Step Health-Care Solution
Health care: the government is the problem

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Written by admin

December 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Posted in from David

One Response

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  1. Hi Dave,
    I hope you are feeling reasonably well. In the USA it costs $12 000 for the average family to have full cover, so it is too expensive for most people.

    The USA is the best example of a failing insurance based system that I have seen. I don’t understand what you mean when you imply the health system is protected.

    The arguments that you put forward don’t help the case for a free market system in health. In fact they should probably try a no fault accident compensation system like we have in NZ to stop law suits.

    Cheers
    Craig Blaxall

    Craig Blaxall

    December 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm


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