Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Market is a Failure? Oh, really?

One of the most consistent Leftist complaints about the current U.S. health care system is that the "free market" has failed to produce acceptable results.

I have two responses to this argument:

1. When, in recent memory, has the market actually been allowed to work? At least since the beginning of President Johnson's Medicare program in the mid 1960s, the government has been interfering in the market. Nowadays, the only Medicare I know as a physician is the Medicare that consistently says "no" to paying for routine and necessary tests like EKGs, and continually threatens to lower its reimbursements to physicians to a level that makes it impossible for us to see their patients. Additionally, their entry into the so-called "free market" served to set the tone for the private insurers to lower their reimbursements as well. The government has created a scenario in which they have their cake and eat it too - they compete unfairly in a "market" by changing the rules to suit themselves, then blaming the industry they are destroying for the lousy coverage the rest of us get. I might point out that they are only able to compete at all by draining the productive members of society of their income to support an ever-increasing number of unproductive ones.

2. I would also point out that "all the other industrialized countries" (you know...the ones the Left incessantly talks about having socialized health care in order to shame us for not being openly and unapologetically socialist) have ALL had to begin to allow filthy, stinking capitalism and "the market" to help them out of their mess.

The U.K., the grandfather of all Western socialist health care programs, in response to decades of criticism about year-long waiting lists for necessary procedures, unfairness in the delivery of care, and a tax burden that seems never to be enough to do what the socialists promised, has recently had to start subcontracting health care delivery to private (FOR PROFIT) entities.

Canada, the supposed health care paradise immortalized by Michael Moore, has had to rescind its long-standing policy of criminalizing doctors who provide alternatives to the long waiting lists and poor care by taking cash for services rendered. Where is the great alternative provided by socialism here?

France has also had to begin allowing the private sector to begin supplementing the effort to provide health care. Why? Because their socialized program is failing to provide what it promised.

Sweden, the country with the highest taxation for health care, has also struggled continuously with long waiting lists and patients who have begged for a free market alternative, has also begun to admit defeat and let the dirty capitalist pigs take over. Again.

The list goes on and on. Socialism is a failure. It has always been a failure. It fails because you can't shackle the productive to buy the votes of the unproductive forever, expecting the productive to remain productive despite your best efforts to destroy them. Eventually, they get the idea. Why work for nothing? Slavery doesn't pay.


YonZe said...

Isn't the idea of health insurance, or insurance for that matter, a way of taxing the healthy/careful to pay for the sick/careless? If there was no such thing as insurance all of us would probably be extra careful not to get sick. And if we got sick, we should and would have to pay for our fault of getting sick in the first place. Or even if it's not our fault, we would know how much our illnesses truly cost. It would be a perfect, undistorted, market system.

It's not what we have now, nor that we have had in over a century. Makes me wanna go back to the great market days of 1850's style industrial revolution market forces.

These days, insurance makes us lazy into not monitoring our health because we expect it to pay for our illnesses every time we get sick. It's a hazard to a way of the moral life, where it shifts our personal responsibility to others paying more than they receive. Where is the fairness in that?

It's not healthcare that's a failure; it's not the market that's a failure. It's the private health/insurance system. We should let real market forces function and not allow those that rob the healthy and wealthy to pay the sick and loafing types.

Go markets go!!

You're almost there MOCKBADOC, but I think you should call out the insurance leeches on this too. They're hardly different than the government, imho.

mockbadoc said...


Couldn't agree with you more. Nobody could possibly be more against insurance companies in medicine than I am. On a daily basis, I am confronted with the fact that they run a racket and place their bottom line ahead of anything else. Of course, this is their privelege - they are companies, after all. It's just bad medicine.

Medicine is a service. It is not a right. It is not a moral responsibility. It is not a commodity. If you are sick, you can choose to come and see me. But you should recognize that there is a cost associated with that visit.

Funny story: When tort reform was being considered in Texas, the state legislators began calling the gallery (a large balcony that was, at that time, filled with 3-piece-suit types from insurance companies) "The Owners' Box". Everyone knows that insurance companies have a stranglehold on our government.

There are 2 ways to fix this, in my opinion:
1. Socialize medicine and give all the power now inappropriately and callously weilded by insurance to an even more callous and untrustworthy bunch - the feds.
2. Make medicine free of interference, resulting in a price free-fall and a return of power to the patients.

Nick said...

MockBadOC you said at the end of your last post...
"There are 2 ways to fix this, in my opinion:
1. Socialize medicine...
2. Make medicine free of interference, resulting in a price free-fall and a return of power to the patients."

I don't understand #2... How would that work? I have been self employed since the late '80s and am "underinsured" with a $15K deductable because this catastrophic "health" insurance
each year takes more of my financial pie. The US system with health Insurance is broken...and the grass certainly seems greener in other industrial countries. I look forward to your positive solutions for the USA. How would your proposal work if I got a bad "expensive" disease?

In the mean time, I am
incentivized to avoid the medical care system... I remain healthy, eat right and exercise...


mockbadoc said...


I am very sorry to hear about your difficulties with health insurance. It is indeed a racket. I want to respond to your question as completely as I can, so I plan to make a new post about it today. Hope it's okay if I copy and paste part of your question into the post.

Thanks very much for your interest in my blog.


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