Why Should Government Be Involved in Medicine at All?

If we want affordable and cutting-edge health care, there's only one approach that will work: open competition.

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme will rule on whether the Obamacare insurance mandate is constitutional. Seems like a no-brainer to me. How can forcing me to engage in commerce be constitutional?

But there's a deeper question: Why should government be involved in medicine at all?

Right before President Obama took office, the media got hysterical about health care. You heard the claims: America spends more than any country -- $6,000 per person -- yet we get less. Americans die younger than people in Japan and Western Europe. Millions of Americans lack health insurance and worry about paying for care.

I have the solution! said Obama. Bigger government will give us more choices and make health care cheaper and better. He proceeded to give us that. Bigger government, that is. The cheaper/better/more choices part -- not so much.

Costs have risen. More choices? No, we have fewer choices. Many people lost coverage when companies left the market.

Because ObamaCare requires insurance companies to cover every child regardless of pre-existing conditions, WellPoint, Humana and Cigna got out of the child-only business. Principal Financial stopped offering health insurance altogether -- 1 million customers no longer have the choice to keep their insurance.

This is to be expected when governments control health care. Since state funding makes medical services seem free, demand increases. Governments deal with that by rationing. Advocates of government health care hate the word "rationing" because it forces them to face an ugly truth: Once you accept the idea that taxpayers pay, individual choice dies. Someone else decides what treatment you get, and when.

At least in America, we still have some choice. We can pay to get what we want. Under government health care, bureaucrats will decide how long we wait for our knee operation or cataract surgery ... or if we get lifesaving treatment at all.

When someone else pays for your health care, that someone else also decides when to pull the plug. The reason can be found in Econ 101. Medical care doesn't grow on trees. It must be produced by human and physical capital, and those resources are limited. Politicians can't repeal supply and demand.

Call them "death panels" or not, a government that needs to cut costs will limit what it spends on health care, especially on people nearing the end of life. Medical "ethicists" have long lamented that too much money is spent in the last several months of life. Given the premise that it's government's job to pay, it's only natural that some bureaucrat will decide that 80-year-olds shouldn't get hip replacements.

True, surveys show that most Brits and Canadians like their free health care. But Dr. David Gratzer notes that most people surveyed aren't sick. Gratzer is a Canadian who also liked Canada's government health care -- until he started treating patients.

More than a million Canadians say they can't find a family doctor. Some towns hold lotteries to determine who gets to see one. In Norwood, Ontario, my TV producer watched as the town clerk pulled four names out of a big box and then telephoned the lucky winners. "Congratulations! You get to see a doctor this month."

Think the wait in an American emergency room is bad? In Canada, the average wait is 23 hours. Sometimes they can't even get heart attack victims into the ICU.

That's where we're headed unless Obamacare is repealed. But that's not nearly enough. Contrary to what some Republicans say, we didn't have a free medical market before Obama came to power. We had a system that limited competition through occupational licensing, FDA rules and other government intrusions, while stimulating demand through tax-favored employer-based "insurance," Medicare and Medicaid.

If we want affordable and cutting-edge health care, there's only one approach that will work: open competition. That means eliminating both bureaucratic obstacles and corporate privileges. Only free markets can give us innovation at the lowest possible cost.

Of course, that also means consumers should spend their own money on health care, limiting insurance to catastrophic expenses. Americans don't want to hear it. But that's the truth.

John Stossel (read his Reason archive) is the host of Stossel, which airs Thursdays on the FOX Business Network at 9 pm ET and is rebroadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at 9pm & midnight ET. Go here for more info.

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  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The best way to improve healthcare is to put Obama in charge of it! Only a racist Kochsucker would think otherwise.

  • Lord Humungus||

    needs more christfag.

  • Trueblueben||

    I never trust a kenyan with medicine, what does kenya know about body parts!! Let me tell you what I would do.
    I would stop all medicare and employer paid insurance so both government and companies can get ahead in this economy. if you get sick you go to the hospital it's that simple and if you can't pay you go to jail!!! that will keep unesseicary procedures from being done and with less people showing up and less demand the price of healthcare drops!

  • sarcasmic||

    Politicians can't repeal supply and demand.

    Oh yeah?

  • Sam Grove||

    YEAH!

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Have politicians repealed anything in the last 75 years?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Point!

  • gaoxiaen||

    They've repealed a lot of the Bill of Rights.

  • ||

    "If we want affordable and cutting-edge health care, there's only one approach that will work: open competition."

    Oh, for god's fucking sake, that is never going to happen. Someone commented on the Peter Shiff vs. congress article earlier that when Shiff used the term 'the free market' that it didnt compute with the congresscritters.

    The same is true here. It isnt that it doesnt compute for them, its that open competition and free market principles dont offer government hacks any angle to grab more money and power. They dont give a flying fucking shit about solving problems.

  • KDN||

    They dont give a flying fucking shit about solving problems.

    Surely you jest.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Au contraire -- Congresscritters are great at solving their own problems. The problems of the nation? Not so much.

    But the real problem is that we have lost the art of following, or something. David Brooks told me so. Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain.

  • ChrisO||

    95% of we talk about here isn't going to happen. It's still worth talking about.

  • Sam Grove||

    If you don't talk about it, you can be sure it won't happen.

  • NoVAHockey||

    only 95% --- things are looking up

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Check out the cost of having a baby in the halcyon days before Medicare/Medicaid, and before health insurance became the payment basis for every fucking healthcare procedure and service under the sun.

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.....07-09.html

  • fresno dan||

    I saw that a while back. I think it backs up my point wonderfully.

    As a concept, insurance works for something that is expensive, rare, and you hopefully never have to use.
    How much end of life care that is HOPELESS exists only because of insurance?

  • R C Dean||

    I actually have the bill for my own delivery in the early '60s.

    Eight Dollars and seventy-five/100 ($8.75).

  • fresno dan||

    I'll give 'em 20% to put you back _ I KID, I KID!!! your one of my favorites.
    8.75 than would be 66.59 today
    http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cp.....year2=2012

    Undoubtedly, there is technology that is mandated that has to be paid for, but when the price so far outstrips any other increases in price, there is one answer - economic rents caused by a disfunctional market. Amazingly, I am somewhat optimistic on this - what can't be sustained won't be sustained. Even the gubermint can't afford the prices the gubermint has caused. Whether it is by having an internet doctor from India, or driving down to Mexico for hospitalization.

  • R C Dean||

    To be sure, that was at the naval hospital in Quantico, and my father was in the Marine Corp at the time. So, YMMV.

  • ||

    We had our second in February, and I think the total bills were in the neighborhood of $15k.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Average is about $9600, according to WebMD.

    http://www.webmd.com/baby/feat.....aby?page=3

  • nipplemancer||

    My wife had a cesarean and spent a 5 days in the hospital. The bill was over $20k.

  • R C Dean||

    /strokes white persion kitteh, adjusts monocle smugly.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    C-section, 5 hospital days, 25K

    still cheaper than buying a healthy cacuasian baby

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    In other words, if we want affordable healthcare, eliminate the entitlement programs, institute draconian malpractice award limits, reduce the number of services that insurance can be used for, make it the law for hospitals to provide a price list of their services, and go back to a cash-for-service system.

    Single-payer's not happening no matter how much the left wants it. $800 billion for 50 million Medicare/Medicaid recipients will simply not be scaled to over 300 million people in this country. The math is against it. So we can either kick the can down the road until the whole system collapses, or go back to what we had in the 1950s when people understood that there was no such thing as a free lunch, instead of believing that the consumption of free lunches is a revenue-generating activity.

  • sarcasmic||

    Single-payer's not happening no matter how much the left wants it.

    Oh it's gonna happen one way or another. Eventually.

    At some point in the future everything will be free and paid for by government.

    Everyone will live at the expense of everyone else.

    Then it will collapse, and a new gang of thugs will have the monopoly on violence and theft.

    It's the cycle of history.

  • sarcasmic||

    I estimate that the average oil change would cost two hundred dollars if it was covered by car insurance. And car insurance would be a thousand dollars a month.

  • fresno dan||

    What an optimist. I estimate an oil change would be....wait for it....6 million dollars! Because we would be using stem cell, genetically engineered canola car oil. Because using any other oil would be a DEATH PANEL for cars - do you not care what happens to your grandmothers' 66 Ford Falcon, you heartless beast????

  • KDN||

    My brother's wife recently had twins. According to these rates, they would have had to pay $572.37 (plus whatever an epidural costs, if it's not "ordinary medicine") in current money. Clearly, you are a monster for proposing that he do so; how is he supposed to feed those kids?

  • Mo' $parky||

    But this can't be right. I'm always told that if it wasn't for insurance I would be put in the poor house when I got sick because doctors would rape all the money out of me. That's what I keep hearing in the news anyway.

  • fresno dan||

    Consider what typically isn't covered by health insurance: eyeglasses and dentistry (and getting them covered by insurance companies may be good for dentists and optometrists, but not consumers). Open pricing and competition results in manageable prices.
    Insurance, with its 3rd party pricing mechanisms, results in a lack of transparency that makes competition practically impossible. What does a MRI cost? You can't get a price quote even if you wanted to.

    Insurance companies want you to frequent certain suppliers (networks) - imagine if there was TV insurance that you needed to buy a TV and the insurance company said you could only get your TV at Best Buy - shutting WalMart and others out as a supplier. Of course prices would be higher than necessary.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What does a MRI cost? You can't get a price quote even if you wanted to.

    Actually, you can. You can also negotiate price. As many people with HSA plans understand very well.

  • fresno dan||

    Well, I have called hospitals and they won't tell me. I live in Gaithersbury Md. If you know a phone number of someone that will, I would appreciate it.
    What they do tell me is: who is your insurer? And than they won't tell me what the co-pay is.

  • Pi Guy||

    "Gaithersbury Md"
    MDer here too so familiar with getting taxraped but - holy schamokes, Bro - Montgomerty Co is one of the wealthiest 5 +/- counties in the US!

    Not pitching about stray aspersions nor nuthin. Just saying that, no matter what, you're paying more for an MRI than pretty much anyone on this thread.

    Sorry, Dude.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Keep in mind that if the hospital is in network, you're already getting a discount through the insurer. To get a price, give them your insurance info and tell them you have a $5000 deductible, and you must know how much it's going to be. You can also try to negotiate after that, to get the cost down, but whether they are willing to do that is up to them. You'll probably have better luck with doctor/surgeon fees than an MRI, though. Your best bet with an MRI is to shop around. I was shocked at the difference in various prices between local hospitals, using my insurance company's (United Healthcare) online tool to look them up. Of course with most insurance it doesn't matter, so people don't bother doing it.

  • Rasilio||

    This probably varies by State, my guess is that some state law makes independent MRI places illegal, however in some places MRI's are profitable enough and it is legal so that independent medical imaging shops have opened up and they do allow you to price shop

  • Mo' $parky||

    What does a MRI cost?

    I had one a couple months ago. The insurance company sent me a coverage notice to show how much was coming out of my yearly allowance, it cost just about $3,000.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The insurance company sent me a coverage notice to show how much was coming out of my yearly allowance, it cost just about $3,000.

    Was that the actual cost, or was it just your obligation of the total bill?

  • Mo' $parky||

    That's what the insurance company paid. The visit to the office to have it done cost me nothing.

  • Lucretio||

    Has anybody other than Avik Roy taken a look at Kenneth Arrow's decades-old and industry-framing paper on why healthcare should be statist?

    The Krug writing about it in NYT a few years ago: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....ealthcare/

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Krugnuts falls into a question-begging fallacy right from the beginning:

    This tells you right away that health care can’t be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance.

    This is hogwash, as the link I put above demonstrates. The healthcare industry of the 50s was a lightly-regulated one, with little in the way of byzantine insurance plans in the system, very few government healthcare entitlement programs, and costs were given up-front to patients. None of these conditions exist anymore.

    Kruggie's claim that we "need" insurance for healthcare is only because the current system structure makes it all but impossible to pay for it without any sort of cost-shifting mechanism in place. Remove THAT, and costs will begin tumbling because there will be a smaller pool of money to draw from for services.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Most people have no clue why medical care is so expensive, they just want "someone" to fix it. What I find amazing that people generally know that competition brings down prices on day to day stuff, but on "important" issues like education and health care only the government can provide it, then they complain about costs and quality.

  • Mo' $parky||

    Most people have no clue why that medical care is so expensive.

    Seriously, many people just pay their insurance right out of their paycheck and never see a bill from any doctors. They pay their $30 copay and have no idea that the doctor is charging the insurance company $1,000 for their physical.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    And the vast majority that DO have a clue that care is expensive are terrified of that. They have no clue that the market wouldn't support $1000 physicals if it wasn't subsidized, and thus think that if they'd be buying a new car every time they saw a doc.

  • carol||

    In the last 11 months various doctors and hospitals have billed my insurance a bit over $237K and my insurance has settled with them for about a quarter of that. Example: UCH billed $50,864 for one surgery but accepted $18,014. So if they could do it for $18K why didn't they just bill for that? The hospital that I had my first two surgeries in billed $125K but accepted $28K. It really is a nice little racket they have going.

  • fresno dan||

    I agree completely. Kinda of like the movie industry - supposedly never makes a profit cause the expenses are so high, and therefore avoids taxes. But movies make 200 million and keep getting made...

  • Pi Guy||

    Because the people who invest $314 kazillion (that's 3.14Ecentikaz in engineering notation) in a some silly nerds in white lab coats teasing out miniscule differences between two teensy tinesy-sized (1E-biglikereallybig) molecules that, like, kill stuff like staph and cancer that can kill you
    or
    invent a device that can freaking map your insides just by shooting some beams across a tube while you listen to your Katy Perry CD ahd figure out that you've got a brain tumor the size of pea and could die
    but
    some super smart educated people in blue or green lab coats can get it out before, you know, you freaking die SHOULD BE FREE TO EVERYONE!

    FUCK YOU - THAT'S WHY!!

  • Loki||

    ...then they complain about costs and quality.

    while simultaneously demanding further government actions to "fix" the problems created by the government in the first place.

    seems applicable.

  • Loki||

    Almost SF'd the link. Not sure how but I screwed but I screwed up the HTML tags there. s/b "This seems applicable", with "This" being the hyperlink. Oh well.

  • ||

    I have the t-shirt. One of my favorites.

  • Mykeuva||

    You want to improve medical care?

    The answer is obvious:

    Step 1. Get as many bureaucrats involved as possible.

    Step 2. Then, hire even more bureaucrats.

    Step 3. ....................

    Step 4. Watch medical care improve while costs drop.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Pfft, that's your answer to everything!

  • Pi Guy||

    So the Undrewear Gnomes have branched out into health care now.

  • fresno dan||

    One annoying point about the article:
    "Call them "death panels" or not, a government that needs to cut costs will limit what it spends on health care, especially on people nearing the end of life. Medical "ethicists" have long lamented that too much money is spent in the last several months of life."

    Stossel seems to want it both ways - somehow, people will get an ENDLESS amount of health care if only the government is not involved - no rationing AT ALL. Well, the market does ration. By price - that is what a market is. Cause we don't have enough money to cut everybody's heads off, and keep it alive in an advance robot run medical head storage facility that costs 3 million dollars a year to run(except my head should be saved, cause...I'm special).
    Stossel should be honest and admit - just like the market doesn't provide me with a new Ferrari for 18,000 bucks (a real one), the market can't give everybody all the medical care they WANT. You don't get what you want, you get what you can AFFORD.
    End of life expense is so great because if someone is telling you that if only we did this or that, grandma will live another month (unconcious or in pain) - who wants to be the family member that says, upplug her! But that cost is borne by someone, but it is more fairly borne if people have a choice of different insurance plans, where your rates are cheaper for no extraordinary measures, or you choose the head in the warehouse plan.

  • sarcasmic||

    somehow, people will get an ENDLESS amount of health care if only the government is not involved

    Straw men are made of straw.

  • fresno dan||

    I'm glad you see Stossl's straw arguements:
    "Someone else decides what treatment you get, and when."
    Well, either your insurance company or your doctor - Last time I checked, I couldn't order myself a colonoscopy.
    OR
    "When someone else pays for your health care, that someone else also decides when to pull the plug."
    OR
    "Call them "death panels" or not, a government that needs to cut costs will limit what it spends on health care, especially on people nearing the end of life"
    Stossel is pretty much a perfect mirror image of critics who complain about anything not covered by private insurance.

  • robc||

    Well, the market does ration. By price

    That isnt rationing.

  • fresno dan||

    Good point.
    I should have said allocate. It is still a market, and one has to decide the value of what one is getting.
    I recently saw a documentary called "Death in Oregon" - a woman decided to end treatment for cancer. Money was not a factor - living was just unbearable. End treatment because the treatment resulted in a poorer quality of life.

  • robc||

    You don't get what you want, you get what you can AFFORD.

    And as long as you have money, you can keep buying more of it, hence, not rationed at all.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Upplug= fuck?

  • Pi Guy||

    The article speicifically mentions 'market' 3x, 'competition' 2x, and even a gratutitous token 'supply and demand' near the end. I'd say that Mr. Stossel went to some effort to indicate that he's aware that it's not endless.

    Which part of 'free market economy' has you confused?

  • fresno dan||

    And Stossel says:
    Someone else decides what treatment you get, and when."
    Well, your insurance company last time I checked, I couldn't order myself a colonoscopy. The doctor could order yearly (or monthly) examinations, but the insurance company won't pay for it.
    OR
    "When someone else pays for your health care, that someone else also decides when to pull the plug."
    OR
    "Call them "death panels" or not, a government that needs to cut costs will limit what it spends on health care, especially on people nearing the end of life"
    Stossel appears to me to be saying that without government we can spend even more on health care. NOTE the "will limit what it spends..."
    My arguement is that we are spending more than is useful. Stossel is at best disingenous - private insurance or your own income limits your choices. Indeed, I try to limit what I spend even with insurance, because the co-pays can be substantial (as it should be).

  • Nimby||

    Here is some more econ 101. The private sector is not effecient at providing public goods. And I think it is pretty easy to argue that healthcare is a public good. Healthy people not dying of things like tuberculosis make good little producer consumers. And the best way to keep them healthy... and I mean all of them healthy... is with single payer public healthcare. Will there be rationing in the form of wait times and months long waits to see your Doctor for some hings (that aren't urgent care?) Yup. And that controlls costs, discourages overuse (if you know you are going to be in the ER for 8 hours you will go to a much cheaper walk in clinic to get your sore throat looked at,) and ensures that the resources available to healthcare are distributed evenly to all. Sound like Socialism? Well it is. But so are publicly paved roads and municiple drinking water. These are provided by the government because that is the most efficient way to deliver a basic and non discretionary service to a large group of people.

  • Mykeuva||

    I don't think you understand what the term "public good" means. It does not mean it's good if the public does it, or we get a good result if the public does it.

    A public good is a good that you cannot effectively exclude people from and use by one does not reduce use by others.

    As you can exclude people from healthcare, and use by one person does reduce use by others (doctor time is not limitless, nor is the use of equipment), healthcare is not a public good.

    Your premise is faulty, and your argument falls apart.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    correct

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Healthy people not dying of things like tuberculosis make good little producer consumers. And the best way to keep them healthy... and I mean all of them healthy... is with single payer public healthcare.

    The best "single-payer healthcare" is one where the costs of healthcare aren't shifted onto others.

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.....07-09.html

    What will control costs are the elimination of subsidized healthcare systems, the limitation of insurance payouts to catastrophic care only, the limitation of malpractice suit awards, and the public listing of cost of services--like we had 60 years ago.

    Medicare boosters promised that having the system in place would result in lower costs in the healthcare system across the board. They were wrong.

    And at $800 billion for 50 million people, the math says that single-payer is doomed to crash, because if you consider healthcare to be a "right" or "public good," then rationing is technically a violation of those principles. You can't have it both ways.

  • sarcasmic||

    These are provided by the government because that is the most efficient way to deliver a basic and non discretionary service to a large group of people.

    I don't think you know what that word "efficient" means.

  • Nate||

    The free market is the most effective way to allocate scarce resources including medical care.

    I consider myself to be an anarcho-capitalist ... living in Canada! Ha.

    However as a Canadian I have to disagree with John Stossels examples. I live in a large city in Canada and I am not aware of any Canadian who has had a difficult time finding a doctor. A typical wait time in an emergency room for a non-emergency is typically 3 hours. I can't say I've ever had to wait more than 6 hours to be seen. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery and began chemotherapy in less than a week. All I had to pay for directly was my gas to get to the hospital and parking.

    I am not saying the Canadian health care system is the best. As a Libertarian I completely agree with John Stossel about competition. I'm just pointing out his examples are on the extreme.

  • Mykeuva||

    Check average wait time for MRIs, the average distance people have to travel for MRIs, etc. as a couple examples.

    The difference is quite large.

    And as long as we're talking anecdotally, I have a story as well. We have a family friend from Canada that was diagnosed with an eye condition and needed a corneal transplant. His doctor in Canada gave him a pager and told him for the next 9 or so months, he needed to have this pager on him or near him at all times, including when showering. He could not miss a page and not return the call, b/c he would be put back at the end of the queue for the procedure.

    This person had to travel for New York for work, and decided to get a second opinion. His doctor appointment was on a Monday. The doctor in New York agreed with the diagnosis that a corneal transplant was needed. Our friend asked the doctor what time frame he was looking at, to which the doctor replied:

    "Well, I'm out of the office on Wednesday. How does Tuesday or Thursday work?"

  • Matrix||

    and those ass clown leftists want that crap here.

  • Mykeuva||

    Continued b/c of character limit....

    Something that doesn't get taken into account with these kinds of decisions is what a period of waiting does to a person after one is told he/she is sick, but not sick enough to get treated immediately. How productive will the person above be for 9 months knowing they have a degenerating eye condition, and their sight depends on not missing a beep?

  • Silver Fox||

    I live in a large city in Canada and I am not aware of any Canadian who has had a difficult time finding a doctor. A typical wait time in an emergency room for a non-emergency is typically 3 hours. I can't say I've ever had to wait more than 6 hours to be seen. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery and began chemotherapy in less than a week. All I had to pay for directly was my gas to get to the hospital and parking.

    You live in a large city - likely with more than one hospital. Of course wait times are shorter [three hours' wait is still ridiculous]. And certainly getting cancer treatment was easier.

    But try imagining one hospital trying to serve a large area of several small communities, and then imagine how different things would be for them compared to you.

    Disclaimer: I'm also Canadian.

  • Nate||

    I'm not arguing for public health care. The famous saying about public health care is its free but you can't get it. As I mentioned the price mechanism is the best way to allocate scarce resources. I simply wanted to point out my experience with public health care has not been as terrible as waiting 24 hours for an emergency. A 3 hour wait in an emergency room for a non-emergency isn't that bad in a big city considering the number of accidents that occur. I'm sure for every 9 month wait for an MRI I could find an equally horrifying story about private medicine. We could trade stories all day.

    Of course the problem with central planning is the planners usually have no clue on how to allocate those resources that an invisible hand does more effectively. Not to mention the planners usually are a legalized mafia that push the agenda/policies of large pharma corporations and restrict consumer choices.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The biggest problem is the doctors' labor union- the AMA. They write the legislation and control entry to market (prescription laws, number of admissions to medical school, etc...) to guarantee a high enough income to buy a mansion and send their kid to college with a new BMW.

  • Matrix||

    There's nothing the government can't break or make worse.

  • Silver Fox||

  • ||

  • Silver Fox||

    Thanks.

    Durn comment options.

  • Andrew_M_Garland||

    Insurers contractually require companies to offer group insurance to every employee, and to not offer incentives for refusing insurance (no extra salary for refusing).

    The insurers do this so they get payments for almost all employees, sick or well. They reason correctly that healthier employees would opt out if they could get more salary, leaving only the participation and expenses of the less healthy.

    Having the healthy participate lowers the premium per person, making this group insurance seem more competitive, but at the cost of giving the healthy a bad deal. Especially, because those who become quite sick must stop working, and they soon lose all insurance.

    Most employees think that their health insurance is free. They don't understand that salary levels are lower to pay for their insurance. The employer writes the check, but the value comes out of the employee's production and salary.

    If individuals could buy health insurance on the same tax-free basis as employers, employer plans would mostly disappear and salaries would adjust higher to provide the income to buy insurance individually.

    Company Paid Health Insurance is Part of Your Salary

  • cherokeejack||

    concise and to the point article, lets draft John at the RNC Convention, for Vice President. !! cheers

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    For instance, the earth's oceans are no longer yellow.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stossel's on the pill.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WARNING: Bob killed in that segment.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wonder what kind of warning labels are on the MicroTouch Max.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    FREE ADVERTISEMENT FOR FARK.COM.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Federal judges are lawyers in robes. Lawsuits are frightening for that reason alone.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    At least he didn't SWAT the patent troll.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The court system is a willful participant in the patent troll terrorism.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "State" University teaches its students to throw away your laptop when you have malware? Sounds like some sort of broken window econ 101.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And that's why Stoss doesn't stutter anymore.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stossel should have open hand slapped that doctor.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Senator Barrasso, Stanely Cup winning goaltender.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When I engage in insurance fraud, I don't have items around me.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Backhoe back therapy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    CAUTION: Some of those people voted twice.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That audience member just wanted to watch the wrestler video again.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The answer has already been given. Loser pays.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    American lawyers should sue the rest of the world for the English rule.

  • ||

    ecause ObamaCare requires insurance companies to cover every child regardless of pre-existing conditions, WellPoint, Humana and Cigna got out http://www.maillotfr.com/maill.....-3_21.html of the child-only business. Principal Financial stopped offering health insurance altogether -- 1 million customers no longer have the choice to keep their insurance.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    The normal progression of free-market competition and innovation is to drive prices down, while keeping quality at least in the solidly-acceptable range even at the lower price points. We see today various innovations that could, fairly soon, drive quality up and prices down across the board -- not only for elective care, but also where the same innovations are used in emergency/urgent care. I read the other day of a drug that was so effective against prostate cancer that its clinical trial was ended prematurely so that ALL participants could receive the drug and the benefits it provided. Technology, especially driven by data (including genome data), will accelerate the rate of such breakthroughs.

    Free-market forces can drive prices down to the point where people can afford healthcare as they afford other necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. When people have to spend their own money on health care, the emphasis will shift toward cures when cures are possible, as well as toward more efficient treatment when cures are impossible.

    Allowing people to choose and procure their own drugs and devices will also help reduce the costs of such things to minimum. If people value the effects of marijuana or other things they can grow for themselves, for example, the market will have to come up with products that are more cost-effective: competition!

    What won't work: artificially limiting supply or stimulating demand.

  • Kyle McInnes||

    As a Canadian, I completely agree that wait times are a sign that the system is flawed. Also, talk to someone who has a child with special needs and you'll quickly realize that healthcare in Canada is far from "free". Government is trusted with healthcare because it's seen as a service that shouldn't be allowed to fail. As a Canadian, I tend to agree with that statement. But I know the private sector can do better. I'm still trying to juggle my faith in the private sector with my concerns that those who can't afford to live may die.

  • johnzmcbride||

    This could be ideal for someone who nobody wants to cover. It's an opportunity to get coverage subsidized by your fellow American. Learn more about it at "Penny Health" online

  • Day2Knight||

    The real question is: Why should anyone make a profit off anyone else's ill-health?

    For-profit business needs to be kept out of healthcare. Period.

  • benji||

    And food! And housing! And energy! And internet! And cell phone service!

  • ||

    Because profit is information, not evil.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Your spam filter is messed up, and so is your reporting system. I write a long message and you erase it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    So, I'll paraphrase my post and remove the humor. Prescription drugs are available at very cheap prices throughout Asia because pharmacists can prescribe.

  • ljbmiscinfo||

    Hallo. Could you, please, cite all these facts? Thanks!

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