Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rational Healthcare Debate

There is a very good post over at the Economist blog, Free Exchange, about healthcare:

WHAT is it about healthcare that utterly short-circuits rudimentary economic knowlege? It is not that there are no good arguments for socialised medicine, mind you. But why is it that so many arguments in favour of nationalisation, even from certified economists, seem to rely on the notion that fundamental laws of economics have somehow been repealed in the case of health care?

I run into this all the time when trying to debate the healthcare issue. People are so fed up with the current system that they have decided that the only answer is to let the government handle things via a single payer system and they won't listen to any other alternative. There are free market economic answers to making our healthcare system function better. The problem with the debate at this point is that the general public believes we have a free market system and its failing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The employer provided insurance system we have is itself a result of corporations attempting to avoid a government mandate (wage controls after WWII).

Just about 50% of healthcare in this country is currently paid for by the government. If the system is getting worse and this percentage is rising, it is illogical to believe that raising the percentage to 100% will make things better. It seems logical to me that the reverse would be true. Furthermore, I've dealt with government healthcare in the Navy and believe me, that is not a path we should take as a country.

No comments: