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Free-Market Health Insurance

An FAQ. All of the campaigns should read it, though I suspect the very concept is anathema to both Senators Clinton and Obama.


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Daveon wrote:

Well he has an opinion certainly. It's the interesting thing, a well reasoned argument and set of positions isn't made right nor factual by being well written.

Larry J wrote:

Care to point out where he's wrong?

Raoul Ortega wrote:

Unfortunately, the whole subject has been immunized against "well reasoned argument[s]" by decades of constant appeals to emotionalism. Reason doesn't go over especially well in a culture where emotionalism is immediately used to shut down any and all debates.

As the first poster here demonstrates, there's no need to have a rational discussion or argument when you can simply make an accusation of being wrong. Case closed, I win, you lose. Deal with it. (Larry J, how dare you ask that question. Can't you just feel how wrong and heartless Hsieh is, isn't that enough? Or are you just heartless?)

Chris Gerrib wrote:

The free market healthcare FAQ is factually correct. I think the policy debate isn't about how free market healthcare works, but rather if the US would be better or worse off with a different health care system.

Depending on your values for "better" or "worse" you could get wildly different answers.

Larry J wrote:

Life can be cruel sometimes. Consider the case of a child born with terrible birth defects. Given the choice, I doubt many insurance companies would be willing to insure such a child because the cost of a lifetime of care would be very high. Obviously, the child is innocent in the matter. What should we do as a society for a child like that? In some countries with managed care, the child would simply be allowed to die. Is that a better alternative?

Some people say you can't put a price on a life but we do it all of the time. For example, would society be willing to pay a million dollars to save the life of that child? Quite possibly. How about $10 million? $100 million? A billion dollars? How about the entire federal budget? Sooner or later, we reach a point where we say, "We can't afford to pay that." At that point, we've put a price on what that life is worth.

Mandating an insurance company to cover everyone regardless of preexisting conditions would be similiar in effect to ordering them to insure homes and cars regardless of the condition. In effect, someone could wreck their car or have their house burn down and wait until then to buy insurance, forcing the company to pay for the damage.

The idea of turning over 1/6th of the economy to bureaucratic management is absurd, especially when you consider how poorly they've managed that portion of health care that's already under their control (Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA come to mind). If after all of these years they'd proven they can run these programs efficiently, then we could consider letting them have wider control. Giving them control of all health care after the disasterous management they've shown to date would be stupid.

redneck wrote:

My objection to mandatory insurance in any guise is based on my experiences with doctors and cash. When I tell the front office I have the cash to pay for my treatment now, I tend to get prompt economical treatment. I usually pay about half as much as an insured patient. And I don't tend to get as many stupid tests.

The time and money I save can be invested so that I can afford more expensive treatments as I age, or to improve my later lifestyle if I can avoid those treatments. I also have more incentive to live in a way that avoids the necessity of medical bills.

Daveon wrote:

Larry - sure, email me - there really isn't the space to go over the problems and objections I have to the FAQ here. At the core is a pretty fundemental difference of opinion over the nature of government and the concept of rights.

But perhaps you could start by leaving off the strawmen yourself? No Universal Healthcare system provides 100% cover for everything regardless of cost, typically they'll ration according to need, of course, in very few of them are the rich blocked from also paying for any procedure they can afford which isn't covered in their universal system.

Likewise, if the problem is "bureaucratic management" then why does the US spend more on Healthcare as a percentage of GDP than any other industrial nation? We got the bill for some surgery my wife needed last year, every single item she had used in hospital was in there, the number of swabs they used, the CCs of anesthetics, the iboprofen they gave her post-operative etc...

Tracking that much data to the level of granularity that an insurance or fully private systems demands is going to be hugely disruptive and expensive no matter how you try and do it.

Nurses and Doctors aren't running a hotel, why insist on making them behave like waiters?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on May 19, 2008 6:29 AM.

Lack Of Confidence was the previous entry in this blog.

Doomsday Has Been Postponed, Part Whatever is the next entry in this blog.

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