Free Market and Socialized Medicine - why not both?

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by pinkwaxfish, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. pinkwaxfish
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    pinkwaxfish Rookie

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    I am convinced that the free market would provide the best health care system if it were ever allowed to do so. Of course, we've had nothing like a free market in health care since the 1950s. First there were 'maximum wage' laws post WW2 that were meant to encourage hiring, but instead resulted in employers adding benefits like health insurance. Then health insurance became an entrenched interest, and insurance providers arranged for the government to leave that benefit untaxed, so it became standard. Then Medicare came about and kind of ruined everything.

    Since the 1950's, state and federal agencies have added a huge maze of regulations governing all aspects of health care, making it into a paperwork nightmare that is total nonsense for doctors and patients. And lawyers have found that the courts are willing to award millions to people who want to sue their doctors. This in turn has resulted in higher costs, much more conservative medical practices, and a closed industry for providers of medical products.

    States require insurance companies to cover all sorts of health issues, making insurance more expensive for everyone, especially healthy people. Now the federal government is getting in on that game too.

    And all the while, the government keeps finding more ways to fund this mess. Governments now pay more for health care than consumers.

    All this is to say we don't have a free market system at all. The USA just has its own uniquely stupid take on socialized medicine, and Obamacare is only making it more convoluted.

    But it's a fantasy to think we could ever undo it. Voters aren't smart enough, the elderly benefit too much, and the interests are too powerful for us ever to unravel this mess and return to a free market system which would provide affordable, high quality health care for everyone.

    What about a compromise? What if free market advocates drafted a plan where these things happened?
    1) The US adopted a national health service, entirely funded by the government, ala Britain.
    2) The same bill that created the national health service creates protected free market space for people who want to provide health care for a profit. The bill says that, so long as there is a national health service, there must also be space in the market for people to provide for-profit services with little to no regulation in a buyer beware environment. No federal, state, or local governments could restrict the activities of these companies, other than holding them to the law as it applies to every citizen. Voluntary interactions between patient and provider could be protected and they could do what they want.

    That way, there would be a fully socialized system, which is what the voters want, and which we're already paying for, and there would be an opportunity for people to opt out of it if they're willing to pay.
     
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  2. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    This would have been a much better approach. But it doesn't give the corporatists centralized control over our health care - which in my view is the core motive of ACA and related reform efforts.
     
  3. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Because socialism relies upon coercion and and central control, while the free market utilizes consent and decentralized choices.
     
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  4. Political Junky
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    Political Junky Gold Member

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    Free Market is available in some countries that have single payer, for those who want a private room and gourmet meals.
     
  5. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    I'll add to that the promoters of Socialized Medicine will use the political process to rent seek/seek subsidies from the Free Market Medical Providers.
     
  6. pinkwaxfish
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    pinkwaxfish Rookie

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    I'm sure that this is true, but I think, in the absence of a better solution (and I don't see anything good coming down from Washington anytime soon), I think some degree of protection for free market providers is possible. I'm thinking of how China legislated free markets in their special economic zones, and even though rent seekers and interest groups interfered in predictable fashion, they still got a lot of good out of those special economic zones.
     
  7. KissMy
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    KissMy Free Breast Exam

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    Who would ever pay for health-care after the EMTLA became law. After a while people started gaming the system & screwing the people with insurance or actually paid their medical bills.
     
  8. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    In other words, you are advocating for a system in which the Private Providers have to pay protection money to politicians in order to minimize how much they are looted by Cronies.
     
  9. KissMy
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    What about a key employee who needs medical services right away instead of waiting for all the Medicaid riff-raff to be serviced first. Canada & other countries have a real problem with wait times.

    Wait times for patients 'worsening' You have to wait more than 6 months for knee surgery. That is really fucked-up when you have work to do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  10. TakeAStepBack
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    For the very simple reason that everyone would still have to pay the national system tax. They would never agree to people opting out. So free enterprise can not co-exist. Who would pay a heavy tax to fund the national system, and then pay again for a free system. The competition isn't there to keep such a free market option viable. It would quickly become a second choice monopoly. Because it would be those opposing the national service, but paying, and those who can't afford both.
     
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