Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Superb analysis. Absolutely right.
Representative King is right, but our problem is really at a more fundamental
level. In capitalism we persist in seeing labor as a commodity. Labor is made
up of people who don't own capital for the most part, and who survive by
selling their sweat. A commodity is something which when rendered obsolete or
worn out is simply cast aside or scrapped. This is what awaits labor, i.e.
human beings. In our masses, if the Ayn Rand followers get their way, we will
be left to die when medical care could have allowed us to last longer. We are
biological beings, not machinery.
Until we take politics out of the healthcare debate and actually analyze the
problem, our solutions will fall short.Look at any hospital bill and
try to make sense out of the charges. It is not possible to connect service
with the associated costs.An astute businessman, unconnected to
politics or the industry itself could make huge improvements.We have
a problem that will bankrupt our country. And yet, we are still more concerned
with politics and profits than fixing it.And no one really wants to
Ya got to sign it to know what it said. Too bad none of the elected read it
We have the most free market oriented healthcare system in the world. We also
have the most expensive and there is no one running a close second. The
difference is no explained by quality. More of the same (free market forces)
will not solve the issue.Is the ACA the answer? Single payer?
Something else? I don't know. But doubling down on market forces does not
seem to be a wise way to go. We need to look at what has been successful
It is NOT the responsibility of the market to make goods and services
affordable. And it is NOT the responsibility of the government to subsidize the
Obama and the Demos like to make us believe they are concerned about the
uninsured in America saying our healthcare is broken. Depending on who you
believe there are about 30 million uninsured persons in America and about half
of them are healthy, younger people who have chosen NOT to have health
insurance. That's less than 5% of the population who can't afford
healthcare insurance and thus the totally manufactured crisis of the uninsured.
For 5% we trashed the entire otherwise very good healthcare system that 95% of
Americans enjoyed and traded it for Obamacare? Obamacare was never about
healthcare, it was entirely about control and it was done with lies, deceptions
and force. It will be interesting to see how American voters will respond to the
Demos in 2016 elections.
Prior to the passage of the ACA we did not a free market, we had healthcare
feudalism. Those folks toiling under a benevolent owner may be allowed the
benefit of "health care" at his or her discretion. The ACA breaks that
employment lock. Those lucky folks working for large operations never really
knew what premiums cost, because they never purchased it themselves. Now they do
as they should! Now that healthcare is an actual right and not analogous to a
"tip" one would courteously leave a good waitress, things are tilting
more to a real market. If everyone has health insurance through some avenue,
then maybe now hospitals would no longer be the only business where by law they
must offer free services ( stabilization care) for those who can't or do
not want to pay. If I were running a business and had to write off free stuff, I
would value the free stuff at maximum accounting value thus driving up on paper
costs. The new risk pool is no longer as large as your employer. It is now 313
million Americans big. Larger pool, lower premiums. Also less public health
hazards now from untreated infectious disease.
"Those proposing to repeal and replace Obamacare must either admit they are
content with current or higher numbers of individuals..."No,
prior to ObamaCare being shoved through congress, there were about a dozen
principles that could have passed both houses with almost a consensus. Rep.
Chaffetz talked about them in his town halls, others did as well. Unlike the Utah legislature, where the Republicans and Democratic members
often work on a consensus, even if one side has the votes, Congress hasn't
done that. Yes ObamaCare should be repealed and replaced. I am not
saying replaced with nothing, I am saying we should do what we should have done
to start with. Take the list that almost everyone agrees needs fixing, such as
Pre-Existing Conditions, competition across state lines, limits of liability,
Agreed.A well thought out, Well reasoned opinion piece.The Free Market, consisting of For-Profit Insurance middlemen created the cost
over runs and problems surfacing in the ACA.The only way to fix it
now is a SINGLE-PAYER non-profit (Government) run system.Just like the
rest of the Free World.
Great column.The socialization of health insurance presents a
serious problem for some defenders of Capitalism, because the free market for
insurance, free of any regulation, tends strongly toward brutal, unsympathetic
Darwinism, survival of the fittest. People with family histories of various
diseases would be monetarily punished and strongly dis-incentivized from
reproducing.The dilemma is most people in America have a moral
framework that guides them, for the majority, Christianity. Jesus would never
go for the brutal Darwinism that Capitalism naturally cultivates, and when it
comes to healthcare, the brutality is magnified.But it doesn't
have to be this way. Just as nobody flinches on the topic of using tax money to
provide education for the children of poor people, there are strong proponents
of Free Enterprise having an exception in their general philosophy, for
healthcare.A recent article on the CEOs of successful Canadian
companies reveals very strong proponents of Capitalism who are mystified that
the US is struggling so much with this issue. To them, healthcare for all is a
common sense economic issue, just like educating children.
Excellent piece. Over the years several Republicans have proposed various
"free market" based solutions to our healthcare problems. Every single
one of these solutions featured mandates for everyone to carry insurance. Go
back and look at Richard Nixon's National Health Program of 1974 to see one
of the first examples. Look at our own Senator's Bennet-Wyden plan for
another.Finally look at the Heritage Foundation plan from the early
nineties for another. That plan is the basis for the ACA, and also for
Romneycare. Republicans supported these ideas up until the day that President
Obama proposed them. It was only then that they became Socialism, Communism, and
Fascism all rolled into one.
Clear and inescapable argument. The free market works well when demand is
elastic. I can choose to buy a Honda or a Rolls Royce. But my health is
"inelastic"--I can't choose if I have a genetic condition or an
accident or if I get old. And even if I could choose, I would never choose the
"low-cost provider" to handle my glaucoma.
Nothing new here, but an excellent summary of why the market simply does not
work for health care. I'll be interested to see what specific ideas the
market defenders out there come up with to refute the basic fact given in this
editorial. The only sensible solution, if we really want to get
costs under control and cover all citizens is to follow the lead of all other
industrialized countries (and many Third World nations as well) and institute a
single-payer system. The easiest and most sensible route would simply be to
expand Medicare to cover everyone. Medicare has been successful for decades, and
senior citizens would be upset if we tried to take it away and replace it with
some sort of market-based system. All we need to do is fund it properly, which
would cost far less than the hodge-podge system we have been living with for
many years now.
After reading this letter from Rep. King and noting the various very good
descriptions of the workings of insurance theory within a free market, I was
surprised to read his final sentence, "The natural laws of markets and
insurance can’t be ignored."Forcing people to buy/provide
something they don't want/need is simply the socialist's (a slightly
less aggressive Communist) way of ignoring/denying "The natural laws of
markets and insurance..."Ultimately, those natural forces will
ALWAYS prevail. Which is precisely why they should never be ignored.In the case of Obamacare, as I predicted it's initial stumbling/fumbling
start, I predict now that it will eventually, inevitably fail,
catastrophically....and all because of the natural laws that its implementation
Health is not a commodity. And it cannot be insured. Good article.
"Look at any hospital bill and try to make sense out of the charges. It is
not possible to connect service with the associated costs."Bingo!When our son had surgery a couple of years ago, we never
even saw an itemized hospital bill. The hospital charges were $40k (for 4 hrs
in the hospital-operating and recovery rooms only). We ended up paying $200 and
our insurance paid $10k.Among the most profitable industries in the
U.S. are pharmaceutical and medical equipment makers.
Once again, Mr. King hits it out of the park!Bravo!
"It is NOT the responsibility of the market to make goods and services
affordable."Which is why it's the responsibility of the
government!Goods and services are commodities. Health care is a
right, just like free speech and the right to vote. It is the responsibility and
obligation of the government to provide health care. Sorry folks,
free market had its chance! Just like it had its chance to provide us clean
water, security, fire protection, etc. But it failed miserably. Time for the
government to step in! The free market can go back to selling cars and popcorn.
Serious issues like police and health care needs to be run by the government.
Mountainman,Tell me what happens when that 22 year old has an
accident, or gets cancer.Who pays? "It will be
interesting to see how American voters will respond to the Demos in 2016
elections."Americans have a low opinion of the Democrats in
Congress. It it gets much lower, they could catch the Republicans in Congress.
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