Health Care and Free Markets
I was reading an article earlier about health care in the USA as compared to single payer health care in Canada. The gist of the article was that single payer is ineffective in Canada as evidenced by long waitlists for procedures, high taxes and 65,000 people a year coming to the USA for surgeries. In the comments section, several Canadians said that there are rarely wait times for necessary surgeries (Who decides what is necessary? That's a different rant altogether). In their experience, everyone they knew that came to the USA for surgery came for elective surgeries because the surgeons in Canada were slammed with "necessary" surgeries, thus no time for profit generating elective procedures.
Here's my takeaway from that:
1. The Canadian system is flawed for a multitude of reasons, including; single payer essentially conscripts medical practitioners by forcing them to provide a service, it's expensive (via taxes), and providers are too overloaded with mandatory work to perform elective procedures.
This is socialism. Socialism doesn't work.
2. The USA system is flawed for a multitude of reasons. Currently, government meddling has made the structure so incredibly convoluted that it is unaffordable for many many people. Another major issue is the insurance lobby. Let's face it, insurance companies have been able to buy favorable legislation for a very long time. This is corporatism. Corporatism doesn't work.
So, in a socialist single payer system, physicians are overburdened with mandatory surgeries and don't have time for elective procedures. In a hybrid system that contains some socialist elements along with rampant corporatism, premium costs and actual procedure/facility costs are completely out of control.
The one system that seems to work the most effectively is elective surgeries in the USA. Why? Because the government doesn't have their hands in it (for the most part) and insurance companies aren't involved at all. You also know all of your costs up front through a menu of set fees. That way you can shop for the pricing and quality that you want. It's the closest to an actual market economy out of the whole bunch.
A free market serves its customers every time.