Monday, April 30, 2012

Nice List Of Free Market Health Reforms

If the US Supreme Court overturns ObamaCare (or if Americans elect officials committed to repealing it), we will need to be ready with some positive free-market health care reform to propose in its place.

Fortunately, there are many people working on this issue. One nice compilation of positive reforms can be found in this article by D. Eric Schansberg, "Envisioning a Free Market in Health Care" (Cato Journal, Winter 2011).

Some of the specific categories of reforms he covers include:
Ending the Subsidy for Employer-Provided Health Insurance
Allowing "Health Status Insurance" for Pre-Existing Conditions
Health Savings Accounts
Reducing Insurance Regulation
Privatizing Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration
Allowing Markets in Vital Organs
Tort Reform
Undo FDA Regulations
Eliminate Certificates of Need (CONs)
Freedom in Labor and Service Markets
The article covers each of those topics in more detail.  Schansberg also cites some good examples where employers in our current semi-free market have implemented market-oriented health plans -- including Safeway, Whole Foods, and Wendy's.

There can be reasonable disagreements about the details of each point (including how quickly to pursue each subgoal and by which exact means). But his list covers pretty much all the major categories of reforms. And they would all be good steps towards the eventual goal of a fully free market in health care.

(Read full text of "Envisioning a Free Market in Health Care".  Link via NCPA.)