This is a very good article on health care, in the light of the Obamacare disaster. I’ve heard so many say: “Well, at least they tried… the Republicans never even suggested a good alternative!!”
OK, so this article shows the way forward… and in this couple of lines makes clear that the currently broken system was not a “failure of the free-market,” but rather a growing mess brought on by a Century of stupid government intervention in medical care.
Like many people, I had a passing interest in the debate over Obamacare for several years, fully expecting bad things to happen but unable to predict the extent of the damage. There have always been two mitigating factors to consider: First, the existing system was badly in need of reform before Obamacare, and it was simply not the case that a beautiful market-based system was being threatened by a socialist takeover. Second, Obamacare in no way represented some unprecedented threat. Both parties had been making a mess of the whole system for decades, at both the federal and state levels.
After all, we’ve had 100 years of intervention in the medical market, beginning with the regulation of medical schools that had already cartelized the system. The whole panoply of interventions needs to be uprooted to allow a viable system to emerge, but absolutely no one in Washington dares to speak this way.
In addition, all the non-negotiable talk about “health insurance” is fundamentally flawed. Insurance pertains to risks of events that are not brought about through human volition, which is to say they are unexpected. That’s why real insurance is able to make money. If you bring about the insured-against “risk” through your own choice—you set your house on fire—that’s insurance fraud. There are unexpected events in the area of health, but most fall under the category of catastrophic.
In a real market, we would probably see medical care work much like veterinary care today—mercifully free of too much government involvement—in which you pay per service. Prices are clearly posted. Consumers pay the full cost of non-catastrophes. And there is healthy competition among providers who are trying to treat you best at the lowest price. Indeed, the restoration of the price system is the central requirement of any sane reform.
In a free market for healthcare, one can easily imagine subscription services emerging—think of Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime for health services—but they would unlikely have anything to do with employment. The whole link between your job and your healthcare—and the third-party payment system through huge and cartelized institutions—came about because of wartime price controls. It’s completely arbitrary and massively distorting.
A purely market-based medical system in the 21st century might offer some wonderful surprises… [READ THE REST]