Health care about to get worse


A good summary of the problems with American health care, and of what the future holds is from Competitive Enterprise Institute‘s Gregory Conko. In his piece Health Care Crisis About to Get a Whole Lot Worse he writes:

Most of the problems in America’s health care system — high and rising prices, lack of consistent and reliable access for millions, rampant cost shifting, and an inability to distinguish between effective and ineffective services or between high and low quality, to name just a few — stem not from some supposed market failure, but primarily from existing government interventions in the market for health care and health insurance.

One of the government interventions that leads to market dysfunction is the reliance on employers to provide health insurance for so many Americans. This happened because of government policy, not by accident. As a result, workers have little choice in their coverage, and some feel tied to their present jobs just for the insurance.

Americans — some anyway — complain that health insurers will collect premiums for years, and then not pay when the covered become sick. There’s also not a vigorous market for health insurance for individuals, partly because the employer market swamps out efforts to sell to individuals or families.

Contrast this situation with the market for automobile insurance. This is a product that is regulated, to be sure, but much more lightly than health insurance. It’s something that no employers purchase for their workers and their private cars. Instead, drivers have to seek out and purchase their own policies.

And what is the result? There’s a thriving and competitive market for auto insurance. The pitchmen for two large companies — the quirky lizard and the exuberant Flo — are well known to television viewers. Auto insurance companies innovate to see who can produce products that meet the needs of consumers.

Do auto insurance companies fail to pay claims, as it is alleged health insurance companies do? If an auto insurance company developed a reputation for not paying, customers would quickly and easily leave that company for others. That is a credible threat, as there is a competitive market for auto insurance. Those who feel they have been wronged by a health insurance company often have no alternative to turn to — there is no credible threat of taking one’s business to another company.

One of the things that President Obama’s health care reform is designed to do is to create a marketplace for health insurance. But we don’t need more government regulation to accomplish that. Such government-sponsored effort is likely to fail. Less government intervention and less regulation, like in the market for auto insurance, would produce a result better for consumers.


4 responses to “Health care about to get worse”

  1. Ann H.

    Amen–government has created almost all the problems with the healthcare and health insurance system, and now they want to have more power and spend more money (we don’t have) to “fix” what they created by making more problems.

    Hopefully the states can effectively resist and repel Obamacare under 10th amendment initiatives. A committee in the Kansas Senate already said no on the Health Care Freedom Amendment (note: Republicans could have advanced it twice but decided not to!!!), but the House is debating it today, and if it passes with 2/3 there, it can go to the Senate floor. It will be an uphill battle but we should pray it succeeds!

  2. Kerr Avon

    So, does the 10th Amendment trump the “Equal Protection” clause in the 14th Amendment?

    Somehow, I don’t think it will.

    Yesterday will go down as one of those monumental days in history that changed this great nation for the better.

  3. Wichitator

    Kerr Avon drinks the Obamanation kool aid. How sad.

    Socialized medicine kills daily. While no system is perfect, socialism does not work and the deterioration with a complete government take over of the US health system will create shortages of medical professionals and shortly thereafter some explicit forms of rationing by government edict.

    Those who love Obamacare will have to explain why socialism in this country will work any better here than in any of the other countries in this world. And don’t mention Canada.

    Can you imagine the headlines if a governor of a US state went to Canada for a major operation? Well, the reverse happened recently with a Canadian provincial premier coming to the US for his surgery. The mainstream US press ignored this story since it didn’t fit into their St. Obama paradigm. In Canada, coming to the US for timely health treatments will diminish as we join the worldwide socialist movement.

  4. Craig

    Let’s hope when it all settles out it will work like medicare, what the gov. plan doesn’t cover maybe we can cover with a supplement insurance that will put us first in line. It’s to bad it had to take this form. A much better plan would have had the gov. creating a catastrophic pool that all citizens would have been eligible for ( after $500,000 in med. expenses you would fall to this plan like medicaid, without you losing everything to the government), this would have decreased health insurance costs by 25%. Then if medicare and medicaid would start to pay a reasonable fee for the services that they cover it would bring the cost down by 15% more. Add in competition from accross state lines and we could have easily seen rates drop by 50% total now a lot more people could afford insurance if it only cost 1/2 as much.
    All this is going to do is make the IRS a police organization, and force more people to not file taxes. And it does not stop the millions of illegal aliens from using the emergency room as their insurance coverage everyday.

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