The Treatment for Healthcare’s Disease? Freedom

Healthcare costs have been growing at several times the rate of inflation for decades. As long as healthcare costs are skyrocketing, all insurance profits could be eliminated, and we’d still go broke paying for direct medical costs. But then, out-of-control costs are what you’d expect from a government sanctioned (is there any other kind?) monopoly. Sure we’ve had tremendous advances in medicine since the AMA was given market protection about a century ago, but how much more would we have had if we’d enjoyed a free market in medicine during that period?

If we turned to a free market right now, conventional medicine would keep doing what it does best, dealing with acute crisis. But we would see some serious competition in the areas it is failing at (all the chronic diseases). Insurance reforms, such as giving consumers more choice in what they buy coverage for, could help contain runaway costs. If customers could opt out of buying expensive coverage for treatments that don’t have a good track record anyway, it could open the lid on some of medicine’s questionable treatments. To offer this sort of customer choice, while also providing cost and performance data on treatments, would be a game-changing reform. But then it would require rejecting this socialized medicine plan that would employ thousands of bureaucrats and guarantee billions in sales to some of our most protected companies. In short, the diagnosis for healthcare and insurance is too much centralized control already, the treatment? Freedom.

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