Thursday, July 5, 2007

Brian Schwartz LTE in Rocky Mountain News

The July 2, 2007 edition of the Rocky Mountain News printed the following LTE by Brian Schwartz:
Health insurance

George Swan (Speakout, June 15) erroneously equates medical "coverage" with actual medical care. "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care," wrote Canadian Chief Justice McLachlin when striking down legislation banning private insurance. As David Hogberg documents in "Health Care, more or less," patients in Canada, England, and Sweden die or become incurable while waiting months for treatment -- despite having "coverage."

You should have as much choice in health insurance as in car insurance. But tax policy deeply discounts employer-provided insurance, so you're stuck with your employer's plans. Insurers are unresponsive to your dissatisfaction, as they know you must quit your job to change providers. A "single-payer" system is worse; with government as a monopolistic insurer, you must move out of state to change providers.

Prescribing "single payer" is like feeding Twinkies to a patient with a heart condition. Let free-markets work by eliminating poisonous laws.

Brian Schwartz, Ph.D., Boulder, CO