Most Want Free Market, Not Regulations, To Dictate Healthcare Costs

0 Shares
healthcost0212_image

A poll that sampled 1,000 Americans last week revealed that 62 percent don’t want healthcare prices set by government mandates or well-intentioned policies, and that the free market offers a better opportunity for striking a desirable balance between healthcare quality and healthcare costs.

That’s hardly a revelation. It’s just another dollop of evidence atop a mountain of studies and surveys, as well as editorials, talk-radio rants and millions of anecdotes (just about everyone, it seems, knows a local doctor who’s planning an early retirement to escape the imminent mess) that collectively demonstrate the confusion and destruction Obamacare is set to wreak not only on the quality and cost of healthcare, but on patient choice as well.

For all the injustice evident in our current, corrupt feedback loop of doctors, insurers and Big Pharma, there’s still a reason Americans don’t like socialized medicine. It limits quality of care, asks people who aren’t sick to pay for treating people who are and takes crucial liberties out of patients’ (and even doctors’) hands.

Look across the Atlantic, where a prominent member of the British Medical Association said the country’s debt-ridden National Health Service (NHS) is worse than “communist China” in leashing doctors and handing bureaucrats the decision-making control over operational policies that directly affect what diagnoses and treatments patients can receive.

The NHS system faces a shutdown of 20 hospitals throughout Britain as it struggles under a growing debt set to top $50 billion within the next decade. The impact of the financial crunch has meant three-month waits (often the difference between life and death) for cancer treatments and warnings that a present-day bailout of British healthcare would dwarf that of Cyprus — not of Cypriot hospitals, but the whole country.

Reading British healthcare officials’ comments is a depressingly Kafkaesque trudge through the lamentations of administrative bosses set within hierarchies pitched against one another in ridiculous power struggles, white noise about what a disservice everything is to the patients and vindictive glances to the past to assign blame along partisan lines. Kind of like watching C-SPAN when the U.S. Senate is in session. Expect the same sort of buzz to filter to these shores, for good, unless Obamacare is repealed.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • smilee

    Is there some reason you did not tell us whom did this poll? For all we know there is none and you made it up. Be nice to see the poll for ourselves. Many of those health care systems in Europe are rated as having better patient outcome than ours. The trouble with our health care systems is it’s primary purpose is very high profits and theirs is actual health care services and thus the reasons for our high health care costs, often costs double and ours are managed for maximum profits and not maximum outcomes thus we have serious problems with our health care. It is hard to believe those in this country really want to pay about double for services not as good in many cases and I believe we now rank 37th in patient outcomes, 36 do better.. Something sounds fishy here.

    • independent thinker

      Try clicking on the provided link instead of blindly bitching and crying about who did the poll.

      • smilee

        There is links for some things but were is the one for the poll? there is none, could it be that it is you who is blind.

        • Warrior

          Try the first two words in the article genius.

          • smilee

            Thanks, I missed it, I guess it is I who was blind this time, their headline says 62% view in unfavorably but in the article they say 55% unfavorable and 39% favorable that totals 94%, the other 6% is not mentioned. There was five questions and the percentages for each question is not given. They used a digital robo type interview not an operator interview like Gallop (which has a (44%-52% outcome) and Pew use, here you push button’s on the phone to answer the question. I doubt that method is as reliable. Their article leaves questions in the readers mind they did not answer. This article singles out this one and we know the owners of this site view it unfavorable so one would think the worst polls would be the ones they would point out. Other polls I looked at in their methodology are far far more informative, Locally when they publish a poll a separate article detailing their methodology is included. These numbers will change once people use Obamacare as so many do not understand what it is even yet but will when they use it and many more are going to like. MA now shows 62%now find theirs favorable which was not true at the outset.

          • Vigilant

            Right, smilee expends a lot of hot air to attempt to change the facts of American disapproval of Obamacare.

            Tsk, tsk, wake up ,son. Go to http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

            The public, by MANY different polls and methodologies, has indicated its dissatisfaction with Obamacare from the beginning.

            “These numbers will change once people use Obamacare…”
            I have no doubt of it. Even HIGHER margins of disapproval will surface in the polls.

          • smilee

            Once people see how it works it will sell itself as it has in MA where 62% approve of their plan which is very similar to Obamacare and it was the model for it, look for this to happen with Obamacare also and that is what also happened with Medicare. It has also has been known most do not understand the plan and after they use it for a while they will change their minds Misinformation from people like you on Obamacare is a mile deep and thus the fog Pellosi talked about. Do not forget that Obamacare was conceived and pushed by republicans who since Obama signed on to it did a 180 degree take on it and disowned it. Every time Obama agrees with them they change their minds and take the opposite view. Obama say the sky is blue and then they no it is not it is pink.

  • Warrior

    The nation’s “health care system” will become every bit as dysfunctional as “public edumacation” is. Bet on it! Just another fine example of gubmint “make work” were results just don’t matter but there will be a whole lot more “opportunity” for gubmint “union” members and Oh, yes patronage.

    • smilee

      Never the less it cannot be any worse than the free market without regulations has been doing for over a generation by driving up costs and eliminating coverage and 70% of bankruptcies are because it includes or are all medical expenses. Few on here will admit it but Medicare (run by the government, even with the fraud) is the must efficient .insurance system in the Country today. It has money problems because we under-fund it not because it is inefficient. If the free market did not charge premiums high enough to cover expenses they to would have this problem but they can raise premiums easily and raising funding for Medicare requires getting past all those who wish to destroy Medicare and that is the problem not the manner in which it was crafted and has worked for almost 50 years. Since i went on Medicare my coverage are better and no hazzles with the insurance companies that were so common before Medicare coverage replaced it.

      • Wiley2

        The Federal Reserve’s own calculations place the unfunded liabilities of Medicare at over 86 TRILLION dollars, plus another $21 trillion in prescription drug liability. There’s no way to raise the funding to cover that deficit. Medicare is neither efficient nor sustainable, and its failure is a mathematical certainty.

        There has not been a truly free market in health care since Medicare was created. It’s not the free market that drove up costs, but rather government programs and the growth of comprehensive private insurance, both of which disconnect patients from the cost of the care they receive and thus destroy free market pricing mechanisms. The free market will only be restored if doctors stop accepting insurance, government or private, (as some are now doing in response to Obamacare) and patients go back to paying directly for their health care.

        • smilee

          First of all the federal reserve did not score it at least not for public consumption, The figures you give are quoted by some and disputed by others. First of all Medicare already is the most efficient and there is ways to fund it and ways to regulate so that lower costs result if only we have the will to do so but so many want to destroy it and they will say and do anything to that end and you have bought into their points of view which many dispute and i do too. Medicare is gov but all the supplement plans are free market and all Medicare C plans and most Part D plans. For the most part Gov only regulates these but the gov is forbidden to negotiate for prices in part D. I know of one case were a prescription under part D cost $122.00 and he had not paid the deductible at the time and at the VA it was $11.00 co pay, where do you think he bought it? The private plans have determined for themselves their coverage, whom they will cover and what they will charge and their eye is only on profits. It is thought that profits account for 30% of our health care costs. All one has to do is look at other countries who have eliminated that and their cost is about half of ours based on per person cost and and 36 countries have better patient outcomes. Not only has cost gone up our health care quality has gone down. Your argument might hold some weight but over a hundred countries have proved you wrong and that option is available to us if health care for our citizens was our top priority instead of outrages profits. We do not make profits on ours police & fire departments and many others and it is not necessary for health care either. If we cut the cost in half disconnecting the cost of care from the patient care because that will then not be concern of any consequence. See you put to much blame on the individual when he/she has much less power to control costs than both government and free markets Free Markets have fully demonstrated they will not if we choose to keep that despite the added cost. There are solutions if there is the will to do so and our top priority is actual care most of the world has shown that, hell, even Cuba has far less cost as is rates superior to us as well as 35 others. Those that believe we cannot solve will never be a part of the solution because they will nt look for one.

          • The Original Wiley

            Typical authoritarian garbage you spout. As the previous poster accurately stated, it was the previous bad government interventions that destroyed medical care in this country. These interventions, done under the false claim that “utopia” was possible on Earth if only the “right people” were given the authorization to use violence via government to seize resources and generally coerse their fellow man into behaving as THEY saw fit destroyed the best and most affordable medical care system in the world (note: best is not a claim to perfect or utopian – that isn’t possible!). Any thing the government “regulates” is effectively government controlled. This includes all forms of Medicare, Mediaide, and Obamacare “exchanges”. The fact that a tightly controlled clique of psedu-private providers and insurance firms are allowed to exist as long as they grease to pockets of the bearucrats and politicans does not change the fact that we do not have a free market in any form in medical care in this nation. As far as the your love for the VA, Medicare and other forms of medical welfare you partake in at the expense of other people’s labor right now, I would highly advise you to reread the section of this article on how government technocrats prevent and delay treatment to the point of death – and they are the ONLY gateway into the medical system in such an authoritarian government controlled system. My personal experience with the VA is not a good one as they delayed approval of critical heart and cancer treatments for both my father and father-in-law. They were not “cost effective” to treat anymore. Finally, my favorite non-argument of the mindless authoritarian socialist Obamacare fan was of course trotted out again too by another zombie poster – which is of course the very schoolyard like slogan of “oh yeah smarty pants, what would YOU replace it with!” That’s the freaking point clueless, it needs to be replaced with NOTHING. It needs to be destroyed along with all other government interventions into the medical care and medical insurance markets. Only then with a stable, fairly priced, innovate, and humaine medical treatment become available again. And, as an added bonus, those people who like to pay for other’s medical care (called “charity” if done voluntarily when done without the use of state-sponsored violence to other citizens) can still be done to whatever extent you would like to do.

          • smilee

            You sure have a distorted view of reality and if you did not hate government as badly as you do you could see the truth. You have to start from the concept that the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, Stat anywhere else and you deny the purpose of our Constitution and its concept. The preamble of the Constitution make that very clear. If you hate government and wish to destroy it you are in effect destroying We the People yourself included. Hate always destroys. If government is not working right fix it but do not destroy it or neuter it. if we the people decide we want to make health care a right it is within our Constitution rights to do so or we can go half way and support Obamacare which will improve our health care as MA has already proven with its plan which was the model of Obamacare, Medicare , and the VA have worked very well despite the fact that many in congress have tried to starve them to death, look at the Medicare reforms of 2004 which put numerous cuts to providers and every time they repealed it when it came time to implement it except for the sequester this year because it is so popular even among Conservative voters whom also love their medicare in large numbers. delays happened in the VA because of cuts to the VA mostly by republicans and sometimes as a compromise with democrats to get the appropriations passed, Solution, vote these guys out but today you vote for a republicans this is likely what you will get. The VA should be fully funded as we owe that to the Veterans but republicans do not agree by their votes even though their rhetoric say they do. Your a dreamer when you expect the stratus quo to be a solution as it has not worked for 40+ years so we know the status quo does not work and that is why most all other countries have abandoned it and the alternative for them works just great as it will for us if only we can get passed the status quo which so many wish to retain because of its easy profits and the people’s health be damned as far as they are concerned.

          • Wiley2

            The figures are from US Debt Clock.org which sources them from the Federal Reserve.

            The simple economic reality is that something for nothing doesn’t exist; we either 1) produce or pay for what we receive, 2) take it by force or stealth from someone else, or 3) borrow from the future with no intention of paying it back. The first method is honorable and sustainable, the second and third, on which Medicare is built, are not.

            As Mr. Bullard writes in the article, the British system is failing under unsustainable debt. Many Canadians come to the U.S. because of long wait times for treatment at home, and they’re not even allowed to bypass the government system and pay out of pocket to get timely treatment. As you say, many countries have embarked on redistributive, low cost or “free” programs that appear to work in the short term, but they all show increasing signs of economic stress. They’re all ticking time bombs that eventually will go off. The solution is simple and has always existed; pay for what we receive and stop expecting and demanding so-called “free” stuff that’s actually paid for by someone else.

          • smilee

            Your website does not come up and Google search did not find it either.

            I agree with your number one and Obamacae Medicare etc is paying for what you receive and no different than private insurance in that regard as if you do not need the service the private insurance provides you still have to pay the premiums and some use more than they pay for some do not only difference is there is no profits to pay for in the public programs so it is much cheaper and when you have millions who cannot afford insurance then they show up at ER at 4 to 6 times the cost and by law we have to pay for that. Obamacare will eliminate that additional costs. Number two is constitutional and it is taxes a perfectly legal way to collect money for the common good and that is what taxes are for and are legal, your free to call them anything you want but the fact remains they are still legal taxes. I too do not agree with all this borrowing but we have only raised income taxes once in twenty years and lowered them at least twice and increased our debt to provide for that cost. Not smart and the income tax increase only raised taxes on a bit less tan 3% the rest are still paying taxes at the reduced rate and even at lower tax rates more and more people do not make enough to pay any taxes due to being so underpaid and to offset that much more money has been spent on subsidy programs. Both are taxes and our spending on an average per person amount is the lowest since Eisenhower was president when the economy was in great shape and our taxes and spending were both high and the economy prospered..

            The situation in England is not as bad as some are saying it does need adjustments as all do from time to time as ours have too. I do think you are not too knowledgeable about other countries and your conclusions are not correct. I do not know what you mean in the short term as most are a generation or more old and have no real problems, in recessions everything is stressed in their economy and those counties that did not participate in US bank instruments and lost their shirts have had no real problems and some have had booming economies instead of recession. No Banks in Canada were in trouble, or the Scandinavian countries.

            It is obvious you do not like paying taxes but robust economies need stimulation and when there are so many underpaid there is less normal stimulation from the people themselves and slow economies hurt everyone, what are your bank account returns right now due to a slow economy. Were in this together weather you want acknowledge that fact or not. People that think like you and who do not want to participate in the economy and only think of what they can get out the system for themselves contribute to a slow economy. Single payer health care systems all over the world works and time and experience has proven this true and your prophecies are ridiculous Health Care Systems weather public or private will do fine in booming economies and neither in recessions and he cheaper in the overall cost in a recession the better. If all you focus on is whats in it for you and everyone did that we would all fail.

          • Wiley2

            Try usdebtclock.org.

            The average Medicare beneficiary receives far more in benefits than was paid in taxes and premiums. Since medicare taxes and premiums don’t cover its payouts, it relies on general tax revenue and borrowing to fill the gap. A private insurance company operated like Medicare would have gone bankrupt long ago. The taxing and borrowing power of the government allows it survive longer than a private business, but its eventual demise is just as sure.

            The fact that something is legal doesn’t make it ethical, wise, or economically sound. There’s never been a shortage of stupid laws but we had far fewer of them in the Eisenhower years. At that time there were rapid gains in manufacturing productivity and there was far less regulation of business and labor, which allowed the economy to thrive in spite of high taxes. Those conditions no longer exist. Rapid growth in government regulation is strangling the economy, and personally I wouldn’t consider owning a business with employees because of the regulatory and bureaucratic nightmare I’d have to endure, both in terms of the aggravation and the rising dollar cost of compliance. I retired early from my profession because of frustration with bureaucratic nonsense. From what you’ve written, I suspect you might think that’s selfish, but tolerating and participating in an abusive and unwise system only perpetuates it and enables it to become worse, which I consider to be a disservice to future generations that I would rather not consign to servitude of the almighty false god of government.

            Lastly, my definition of “short term” spans more than the generation or two that some government health care systems have survived. In my view, the 100-year-old Federal Reserve is a short term experiment which has gradually brought our economy to the brink of collapse. Collapse nearly happened in 2008, but it was averted and delayed with bandaid solutions that only increased the underlying problem of unsustainable debt. Government health care systems are merely one part of the entire debt-based economic model enabled by the Fed, with the complicity of the government. Like it or not, we live in a world where production and consumption must eventually balance, and we’ve unwisely gone so far out of balance on the side of consumption that the mathematically certain rebalancing is likely to be more violent and destructive than any previously experienced. The fact that we’ve gotten away with such a lopsided system this long doesn’t mean it can continue forever. Eventually the tipping point will be reached and the whole house of cards will come crashing down. I happen to think that’s not far off.

          • smilee

            Of course almost all your post is based on your own interpretations, what you consider ethical and wise are based on your own interpretations and differ greatly from others interpretations and that skews your interpretations as they are not what the generally accepted interpretations are, granted there was differences in the fifties as opposed to now but your forgetting taxes were very high and so was government spending very high and needs for regulations very different from now now despite the BS rhetoric to the contrary. You totally ignore private need for profits and in corporations laws only require responsibility to their stockholders so customers and employees get crapped on. In health care the profits average 30% and medicare it is zero so no matter what the source of funding the cost outlay is much smaller than private plans for the same services. Whenever private enterprise takes over government functions it costs us more, look at the security guards in Irag and elsewhere and private cooks etc compared to when the military did it and every solider had to do KP. Security guards where paid ten times more than some soldiers. The private sector has lobbied hard for privatizing as much as they can because it is easy profits and we taxpayers foot the bill. You seem to have no problem with paying much more for government services by privatizing it. Halliburton built a very profitable business on the backs of us taxpayers.

            In 2008 It was the banks and repealed regulations that did it, not he federal reserve and the banks almost brought down the world economy and did bankrupt some cities and counties and some foreign counties (Iceland as an example) with their toxic instruments as they invested heavily in them and they were mostly worthless. Give big banks and corporations an inch and they will take a mile. They do not spend all those billions on lobbing and elections for nothing, they look at that money spent as an investment and have been highly successful in getting their people in office that only represent the top 2% of the people and screw the 98%. the sad part is so many people buy into their BS as they do not understand it and this is the major part of your problem. I do not know if I would call your early retirement selfish but it is a cop out and you gave up. Never give up but understand the underlying reasons and the major one is the takeover of our government by the rich. I agree there has to be balance and that can be achieved if corporations had equal fiduciary responsibilities to their customers, employees and stock holders and not just the stock holders as it is now and they have be taken out of elections all together and lobbing has to be made highly transparent and heavily regulated. For a generation now we have seen the shift of wealth from the middle class to the rich and this in balance is dangerous but with the rich so in control it will remain that way. We have to work and vote for persons whom know this and will work to get rid of this imbalance.

          • smilee

            Found the site it but it shows nothing about the reserve scoring Obamacare it only has a do with the debt clock.

          • Wiley2

            The figures I gave were for Medicare and the prescription drug program shown near the bottom of the page, not Obamacare. Place your cursor over the measure you’re interested in and the window at the top of the page explains it and shows the source for the data.

          • smilee

            I;m sorry I meant Medicare changes in Obamacare. Your site is projected debt based on current conditions and does not factor in changes in future law changes or Obamacare changes. The CBO scored it based on the Obamacare law changes and predicted a trillion dollar savings by the end of ten years. Obamacare changed Medicare C costs to match Medicare A & B so the are paid the same amounts for the same services now and this saved 14% of the Medicare C costs without reducing any benefits and actually increased benefits in Medicare B & D, this savings moved the projected bankrupt date from 2016 to 2024 an additional 8 years and since that scoring additional medicare payroll taxes collected due to more incomes has extended it two more years to 2026. I do not think the site you noted applies to our orgininal debate but what I noted above does. There is a lot of rhetoric going around out there that says different buy the rhetoric is just not true.

          • Scifidave

            Your assertions about the Canadian health care system ignores so much as to render your statement irrelevant. Yes, many Canadians come to America for specialized health care, but Canadians living in America go back to Canada for health care because the cost in the US is prohibitive.

            Obviously you’ve not taken any time to explore the health care systems in other countries. European countries have come up with many, many innovative solutions that have not only improved health care, but lowered costs to the gov’t and those who choose care outside the gov’t system.

  • Scifidave

    The poll Ben cites is the Rasmussen Reports, favored by conservatives. A little research indicated that many accepted main stream news sources believe their polling to be reasonably accurate.

    As a veteran, despite the negative main stream media attacks on the VA over wounded soldiers returning from Iraq, I’ve been satisfied with care I’ve received from the VA for 4 decades: gov’t run health care.

    Despite the reality that the AHA is huge, it is a first step in creating a national, single-payer health care system. As with Canada’s plan, it will take some time to work the bugs out, but overall Canadians are now satisfied with their gov’t health care. While all health indicators have improved in nations with national health care, ours keeps dropping. America’s health care system is based on free market, for profit entities and, quite frankly, it hasn’t worked all that well.

    Millions of Americans have suffered through medical bankruptcies and the lack of any real competition has kept the industry from putting in place badly needed reforms necessary to improve our overall health.

    Sadly, instead of Congress working toward a plan that helps us all, a large contingent has played politics with our lives while producing no viable alternative that favors citizens rather than major health care related business.

    As to the highly partisan statements that ‘Obamacare’ (AHA for those not waving the neocon banner) will make our health care as dysfucntional as ‘public edumacation’, the history of national health care in other developed nations says otherwise.

    If you are so afraid of this, I suggest you lobby your Congressmen to come up with a better solution instead of ‘playing politics’ like the Republican House is doing without producing a viable alternative. But, apparently the party of no doesn’t care enough about the ‘non-rich’ Americans to do so.

    • Wiley2

      U.S. healthcare worked just fine before the advent of comprehensive health insurance and government programs. When patients paid for routine care out of pocket and insurance was used only for catastrophic care, prices were kept in check by free market forces and people were much more rational and discriminating about when and for what purpose they went to the doctor. They were also much more inclined to maintain a healthful lifestyle to avoid wasting money on unnecessary medical care. And it was rare for people to be turned away by doctors or hospitals when they were truly in need of treatment but couldn’t pay. The personal responsibility and accountability of that system — paying directly for services, insurance only for emergency and catastrophic care, and charity — gave us the best medical care in the world. The introduction of third party players that inhibit the free market — insurance companies and government — has turned the system into a wasteful, unresponsive, money-grubbing enterprise that benefits private and government middlemen at the expense of doctors and patients. As long as there are third party meddlers between patients and doctors, health care will deteriorate.

      Obamacare pretends to be a solution to a problem created by the third-party players, but of course a problem isn’t cured by more of the poison that created it.

      • smilee

        Our bodies now deal with a lot more pollution and toxins, foods grown and processed totally different since those times and there is an ever growing amount of data that theses thing have on our medical needs. I grew up on a farm on which we grew almost all our own food and even though at the time we did not know it all our food was organic, it was free of poisons and artificial fertilizers and people seldom got sick and 75% of my ancestors who were not killed in accidents or war died in their 90’s and all their lives required little medical care. My grandfather never seen a doctor until two weeks before he died at age 85, he did not make 90 but his sister made 102. These are all factors the individual has little control over in today’s world but it contributes greatly to our problem of high medical costs and that is not to say the system has not been milked for excess profits. Medicare today is the most efficient insurance system with an 8% operating efficiency as opposed to 25-40% for private companies which was changed with Obamacare to limit private plans to 15% for group plans and 20% for individually purchased plans. This will save money. You cannot place all the blame on the insurance companies, providers and today least on the individual as today there is much they no longer have control of. Food supplies, farming practices, food processing methods and non food additives in food contribute a lot and we are very much in need for regulations that protect our food safety. I fully believe if the food we now eat were the same as when the medical cost were mostly borne by the individual without a third party would still work but that is no longer feasible in today’s world with so much more medical services being needed and caused by the reasons aI have given. I think Obamacare will get us on a different track so that some of these will become better addressed in time. The status quo was a disaster and it was unfortunate that health care reform of any kind was fought against instead of working to gather to get the job done. If that would have been done Obamacsre would have been much better than it is but it is a good start and points us in the right direction and hopefully improvements will be made over time.

        • Wiley2

          You make good points about the food supply. Correcting that problem requires accepting personal responsibility in food choices. People need to educate themselves about the health effects of the foods they eat and select fresh, minimally processed and organically grown foods. If those are the foods people demand and buy, instead of tasty, quick and convenient junk that will destroy their health, the free market will eliminate the junk without the need for endless regulation and nannying by the government.

          • smilee

            What you say is true but that option is not available for many, most food stamp recipients do not have enough stamp money to purchase those healthier foods as they are much more costly, also there is not enough organic foods on the market for everyone at this time and as demand increases this may change some but not enough unless there is regulations by the government which has the right to enforce safety on behalf of the whole. Self education albeit a great idea will never be enough to solve the problem. Congress can regulate commerce and they should. Again blame the ones with the least power to change this, unless they all act as one and we both know that is not possible. Few times in our country has that happened albeit there have been a few.

          • Wiley2

            Many healthful and highly nutritious foods, such as beans, lentils, rice, etc., and even many vegetables, are cheaper than the processed alternatives; they just take more time and effort to prepare. The fact that most people don’t take the time and make the effort is a matter of personal choice, not necessity. Most people could grow some of their own vegetables; even apartment dwellers in big cities can do container gardening.

            Government has done tremendous harm by enabling people not to do what they are perfectly capable of doing to take care of themselves, and by assuming responsibilities that rightfully belong to individuals. Government encourages a perpetual childlike dependence on itself as the authoritarian and wise parent, and by doing so it enslaves all those who are seduced by its lie. Lasting change doesn’t come from waiting for government to impose it from the top down, but rather from each person acting individually to change his or her own life for the better, which grows into everyone acting as one to bring change.

          • smilee

            Even cooking like you say is better but the food itself has to be of quality and even the foods you describe that are high quality are still much more expensive and out of some’s reach. Many people do as you say as that is all that is available to them your assumptions that most do not has no basis in fact and is only your assumption, many do have gardens in poor areas today as they have community gardens but again you look to the least powerful to solve the problem, you do not take a garden tractor to plow a big field as it does not have enough power so you get one that is powerful enough to do the job but you seem to prefer trying to do it with a garden tractan. if much of the harmful ways we see in farming and processing today were not allowed then quality food would be the result and then much much cheaper

      • Scifidave

        In no way do we have the best medical system in the world. Countless studies have highlighted that in no uncertain terms.

        Not only that, it’s apparent you don’t study history, otherwise your pie-in-the-sky assertions about medical care in the past wouldn’t be so embarrassingly wrong.

        You don’t talk to people who can’t afford health care and don’t fit the requirements set by gov’t services either. Try finding care from a specialist when you’re on medicare or medicaid or are just flat broke.

        The gov’t is the least of our problems when it comes to health care. For-greed companies with little meaningful competition is the primary problem.

        • Wiley2

          My statement was that we had the best medical care in the world in the past, not now, and there’s plenty of historical evidence that it was superior in terms of access, medical techniques and available technology in the early to mid twentieth century. That doesn’t mean that everyone got all the best medical care all the time, but only that such care had become more advanced and more widely available than in other countries and people could get what they needed at a reasonable price. Since that time, with the advent of government programs and the expansion of the insurance industry, affordability has steadily declined due to interference with free market forces. This is easily confirmed as fact, not opinion, as is the observation that government interference is a huge part of that problem of free market interference.

          Most people cannot afford to pay directly for the most expensive and specialized treatments available today, but neither can most afford to buy a top-of-the-line Mercedes. None of us is entitled to be provided with either one. The counterargument is often that a person doesn’t need a Mercedes to live but might die without the most expensive medical treatment. That gets into personal philosophy and I’ll only say that I wouldn’t impoverish myself, my family, and strangers in society to postpone a natural end to my life for as long as possible. Others are welcome to have a different view, to the extent that they don’t try to forcefully confiscate my resources to support their desires and philosophy, and that’s my main objection to Obamacare and all redistributive government schemes that are based on coercion. Voluntary participation is fine for those of like mind, but the use of force to impose any such scheme is immoral, unethical, and takes us backward toward slavery.

          • Scifidave

            The number one driver of cost in the medical health industry is the lack of competition.

            Before the business schools started churning out bean counters (early 70’s) who were focused on quarterly profits as opposed to providing affordable and effective care and large corporations opened clinics in rural communities (ending most small private practices) you are correct. Business and unions saw to it that medical coverage was available for most people.

            The focus on short term profits siphoned off money that had historically been pumped back into the enterprises, keeping rates low and the quality of care high. Even so, a significant percentage of the population was not covered and those reaching retirement age found their savings destroyed.

            Meidcare and Medicaid pretty much ended the dire straights retirees found themselves in and reached out to millions who had no coverage, but the cost was borne by government and that cost was passed on the tax payers. I don’t have a problem with that.

            What I do have a problem with is that large, national corporations, focused on high quarterly profits, ended competition and this became the major factor in the huge upswing in medical costs.

            Economics 101.

            Now you can blame the gov’t, but the gov’t isn’t a profit seeker. Business is.

            Countries like France, where doctors work for the gov’t, the docs work regular hours, are able to spend more time with their patients and can thus focus more on preventive care, and no longer have to bare the enormous cost of malpractice insurance. In addition, these doctors have to meet regular performance reviews, thus bad doctors are removed and good doctors rewarded. This puts the incentive squarely on the medical profession to become more efficient, reducing costs and medical screw ups that cost lives.

            You are right. Our health care system used to be the best in the world. No longer. The drive for quarterly profits killed that, not government.

  • DavidL

    The health exchanges are the free market, Ben, and they are already lowering costs and improving health through competition. Everyone in our country, Ben, has a right to see a doctor and not be put in the position of having to choose between bankruptcy or death. No other industrialized nation puts their citizens in that position, and they have better, and in many cases much better, health care outcomes then we do here. Scifidave below is correct.

    • Wiley2

      People have a right see a doctor but not to force a doctor to give them free medical care, just as we have the right to walk into any public business but not to walk out with whatever we want without paying for it. Those who say there is a right to free medical care ignore the fact that all care is provided through the labor and resources of others. To demand care without paying for it is to assume the power to place others into forced servitude and slavery.

    • The Original Wiley

      Medical care is but one of many, many things a person encounters in this thing called “life” that puts you in a position of bankruptcy or death – it is not unique in this aspect at all so you present a false choice. The reality is that medical care cost bankruptcies take place, even in the very badly damaged government interventionist system we now have, in this country only in the tens of thousands and not millions as you seem to imply (they represent less then 10% of all annual bankruptcies). Futher, alive and bankrupt is much better then dead and having a “right to free medical care” (see citation in article above about how government technocrats make life and death delays to medical treatment) when no treatment options are available – which is an inevitability under government run and rationed systems. A payment via taxation for “free” medical care does not equal actually having such treatment or providers available (see comment below about involuntary servitude). Additionally, the many authoritarian government-friendly “studies” you cite that dictate “more favorable” outcomes for state-controlled medical care nations have been debunked numerous times yet you shill trot them out as gospel-like fact. The meer fact that people travel to this nation as the only place – or only option when treatment is refused by their native medical beaurcarcy – to get treatment is real world evidence that your “studies” are politically biased crap. Furthermore, in your confusion, you speak of a “nation” as if it were an individual person that was somehow entitled to collect and spend all the resources of that geographic area in an authoritarian manner. This is entirely bogus – a “nation” is comprised of hundred of millions of individual people therefore their is no one better or best “healthcare outcome” for it! Medical care “outcomes” only exist for real people.

  • Dave

    Free Market?

    There is no such thing as long as the employer-insurance model makes sure the employee is NOT the end user of HC.
    The “free market” is also problematic when you are having a heart attack. Nobody is waiting on treatment until they get competitive bids from 3 different doctors/hospitals etc.
    Big Pharma is not interested in cures… they want patients. A cure for a disease means an end to a revenue stream.
    We have a big argo business in this country that demands we taxpayers subsidize their business by making it cheaper to produce the bad foods that help make us as a society more sick.
    So we are a more ill society with doctors, hospitals, big pharma, insurance companies and lawyers all looking for their piece of the pie and while they find new ways to take your money, regular people are having to declare bankruptcy due to medical expenses. That is wrong. The marketplace can work when it comes to equipment, but managing people’s health, the profit motive runs contrary to good health.