Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Svorny on Free Market Reforms

The October 6, 2008 Los Angeles Times carried a good opinion piece by Dr. Shirley Svorny (professor of economics at Cal State Northridge), supporting free market health care reforms. Here is an excerpt:
...[L]et's deregulate medical care so that providers can find innovative ways to deliver high-quality care cheaply. Let's eliminate the increasingly strict education requirements for clinicians and let medical professionals offer walk-in physicals or other services at competitive prices. Like Wal-Mart and MinuteClinic, they will rely on brand name and reputation to assure quality.

We also need to better promote health savings accounts, which put spending in the hands of consumers and encourage them to shop around for low-cost alternatives.

Retail clinics are only the first step. My hope is that the increased access and reduced costs will quickly become evident and will build support for additional innovations -- and the deregulatory policies necessary to make them possible.

Universal coverage sounds appealing, but it means government will be running the trains. Here and abroad, government does not have a good record when it comes to access, oversight or innovation.
Her economic arguments are sound, and they provide good reinforcement of the more fundamental rights-based ethical argument for free market health care reforms. (Via Kelly McNulty.)