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,


More in Letters to the Editor

A modest debate about transparency | Letter to the editor

A Kirkland resident probes Rep. Springer’s support of SB 6617.

Most recipients of public eduction don’t become killers | Letter to the editor

A North Bend resident responds to “Don’t ban guns, ban goverment schools.”

Ask Sen. Cantwell to cosponsor legislation to remove financial cancer screening barrier | Letter to the editor

A letter asking Sen. Maria Cantwell to cosponsor the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act this year.

You can’t have a shooting without first having a gun | Letter to the editor

A letter in response to a letter about banning public schools to prevent school shootings.

Totem Lake Bridge is result of many years of public input | Letter to the editor

Recently the Kirkland Reporter published a letter to the editor voicing concern… Continue reading

Don’t ban guns, ban government schools | Letter to the editor

Public schools have become impersonal, sterile and monolithic — like most government institutions.

Will council reduce taxes | Letter to the editor

Property tax bills have gone up 18.8 percent; the RTA vehicle registration tax has more than doubled.

Youth: You have power | Letter to the editor

A letter to young people protesting issues of violence.

We need national legislation with a global impact | Letter to the editor

The “Ways to reduce your energy usage“ letter (Feb. 15) contains common… Continue reading

Ways to reduce your energy usage | Letter to the editor

The Kirkland Reporter’s carbon-tax cartoon (Feb. 9) shows a very fatalistic view… Continue reading