More of the Poison that Is Killing Our Healthcare System
Sept. 18, 2007
Irvine, CA--Hillary Clinton has announced her new “universal healthcare” plan, which she claims will solve the problem of high insurance premiums. “You’ll never again have to worry about finding affordable coverage,” says Mrs. Clinton. “Your coverage will be guaranteed--if you pay your premiums and follow the rules, your insurance company will be required to renew at a price you can afford.”
Alex Epstein, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute, denounced the proposal. “Like all other ‘universal healthcare’--that is, socialized medicine--schemes, Mrs. Clinton’s is guaranteed to lead to disaster if implemented, because it ignores the basic requirement of medical progress and falling prices: freedom for doctors, patients, and insurance companies.
“Health care is a mess because it is one of America’s most controlled and socialized industries--beginning with the fact that we are all forced to pay for one another’s health care through Medicare and the government-induced third-party-payer system. In the name of the individual’s ‘right’ to health care and the government’s ’responsibility’ to provide it, the government has reached its tentacles into every facet of medicine, from how many doctors are allowed to be licensed to which medical professionals may perform what procedures, to what procedures insurance companies must provide on their plans.
“Mrs. Clinton and other advocates of socialized medicine all seek to ‘solve’ this problem by adding more government coercion to the system. For example, her ‘guarantee’ that ‘your insurance company will be required to renew at a price you can afford’ is a veiled call for price-controls--and a prescription for insurance companies to be exposed to a bankrupting combination of huge liabilities with comparatively low premiums.
“If anyone is interested in fixing American health care, there is only one solution: remove coercion from the system. If medicine were left free, with individuals responsible for paying for their own care and insurance, and America’s businessmen, doctors, and educators liberated to offer it at all different price points, we would see quality and price improvements like those for flat-panel television sets. Indeed, we already see this in the few realms of medicine that are left free; laser eye surgery, for example, has improved dramatically over the years while prices have fallen. We could see such developments with medical care as a whole--as soon as we agree to take responsibility for our own health, and get the government out of it.”
Alex Epstein was a writer and a fellow on staff
at ARI between 2004 and 2011.