A free market solution to health care is no solution at all. I have highlighted the assumptions in the following article that perfectly illustrate why the Republican concept of health care reform will not work and why Republicans and many physicians do not understand people and their perceptions of health care and paying for it. What appears logical is not when it comes to health care.
I can sum it up in four words: Human nature and adverse selection.
Who do you think might prefer a leaner plan and who might prefer a lavish plan? The answer is found in a few more words: people with few health care needs and people with significant health care needs.
These free market reforms don’t make health care far more affordable … unless your only measure is the premiums for people who are in the “few health care needs group.”
Selling across state lines adds little value and more complexity especially considering virtually all plans are based on networks of health care providers. Millions upon millions of Americans have lived with a single plan or small variables through their employer plan for decades. Now suddenly we are told it’s necessary to have lavish and lean plans. That could work, of course, as long as the sickest people select the lean plan. 😏
“Such free-market reforms could help make insurance far more affordable for many people.” It sure could …. and far less affordable for many other people.
And then there is this; what happens when those folks believing they need a plan that protects against catastrophic accidents and illnesses only end up with large expenses and/or a chronic medical condition? Oh wait, I know, after going into debt they switch to the more lavish plan next year. 😷
The government should protect individuals’ ability to seek insurance in a free market, not seek to provide insurance for them.
However, I don’t believe the government’s job should be to guarantee health insurance for everyone. As a free-market advocate, I believe the government should protect customers’ freedom to purchase (and insurers’ freedom to offer) insurance plans mutually agreeable to both parties. Customers should be left free to join (or not join) with others into insurance risk pools that best suit their needs. Some patients might prefer a pretty lavish plan that covers a lot of services. Others might prefer a leaner plan that protects against catastrophic accidents and illnesses only — but costs correspondingly less.
The government does have a vitally important role in protecting customers from force or fraud in insurance markets. The government can also help consumers by allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines and by repealing insurance mandates that require plans to provide specific covered services. Such free-market reforms could help make insurance far more affordable for many people. Other free-market reforms that would move the US health system in a better direction include the plan proposed by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey or the Docs4PatientCare “Physician’s Prescription For Health Care Reform.”