Friday, November 13, 2009

Beezley: Market Driven Health Care Saves Lives

The Independence Institute has published an OpEd by Donald Beezley, arguing that "Market Driven Health Care Saves Lives".

Here's an excerpt:
...President Barack Obama thinks government bureaucrats can determine what [Beezley's diabetic son] Connor needs, when he needs it, and then get it to him--and to hundreds of millions of others. This is a lie. The President's scheme to seize control of our bodies through our health is dangerous, and will leave us helpless victims with no control over our health care. Government control also means an inevitable decline of supplies, and rationing via simpleminded regulations.

Only a system of competing prices, profits and producers--capitalism--results in the right thing being in the right place at the right time. Without prices and profits you have scarcity, rationing and poverty: the Soviet Union was one of the most fertile regions on earth; an army of central planning bureaucrats couldn't keep bread on the shelves for a reason.

It doesn't matter if rationing is "in the bill." Shortages are unavoidable without a profit-driven market providing price and profit signals to consumers and producers. Under government control doctors, insulin, test strips and all health resources will be disconnected from the needs and priorities of real people and driven instead by political priorities and the stunted thinking of bureaucrats. Freedom and capitalism respect the choices of individuals and provide incentives that align the interests of disparate people. This is true of healthcare just as surely as bread or anything else.
Beezley then offers some common-sense free market health care reforms:
...There are four essential reforms [that] offer an immediate start to protecting the lives of Connor and every American. To start, the federal government must assert its authority under the Interstate Commerce Clause and knock down foolish, expensive barriers to health insurance purchases across state lines so Americans can buy the insurance they want.

As another important reform, state governments must end coverage mandates that radically increase the cost of insurance and enrich health insurance companies at patients' expense.

In addition, lawsuit abuse must be curbed with sensible malpractice guidelines and limits.

And finally, tax policy that disconnects patients from their doctors must be changed by moving tax benefits to the individual level while empowering individuals with vehicles like Health Savings Accounts.

...My son doesn't deserve to have his life diminished by a government run healthcare monstrosity.

He and all Americans deserve a free, vibrant, competitive market in health care.
These reforms would make life much better for Connor as well as millions of Americans.

(Read the full text of "Market Driven Health Care Saves Lives".)