Why free market health care does not work

The arguments made by Jeff Jared in favor of free market health care should not go unanswered. Here are some reasons why the purely free market does not work for health care:

  • Like any private corporation, the priority of insurance companies is their own bottom line and a return to their shareholders. Your health is secondary.
  • The offering of “bare bones” insurance is a race to the bottom. It’s little better than an illusion.
  • The proliferation of private insurance companies and the accompanying maze of coverage details requires every doctor’s office to employ added staff. This, in turn, leads to higher costs.
  • The costs of running insurance companies is about 15 percent of the cash flow. For single payer systems, it is less than 5 percent.
  • Any insurance system relies on a sufficiently broad base to spread out costs. This is why the mandate in Obamacare is a critical part of limiting costs. You cannot let the young opt out just because they believe they will live forever.
  • Buying health care is not like buying a car. You do not shop around for the cheapest heart surgeon.
  • Over many decades, the American system of private insurance has been shown to cost twice as much and to lead to an inferior level of health.

David Malcolm,

Kirkland

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