Wherefore Art Thou Private Care?

Private health care is bad. Public health care will be cheaper and better quality. How do we know this? Proponents of universal care would claim that we only need to look at the current system of care in this country which performs so poorly. There’s only one problem with this line of thinking – it assumes that the U.S. health care system is a private system.

In The Commonwealth Fund’s report released yesterday, it concluded that, when compared to health care in 7 other nations, American health care is prohibitively expensive. On the same day, Kos of the DailyKos posted a scathing entry (titled Blue Shield, scum suckers) detailing his experiences with the insurance industry.

So they lie to us, claiming for seven months that they’ll cover the procedure. They lie to the anesthesiologist’s office, claiming they’ve already paid us the amount owed, and to bill us directly. And now, finally, they truth comes out — they have a problem paying what’s owed and will refuse to do so, even though they sent us a letter saying they would.

As my wife tried to deal with Blue Shield, she asked the costumer service rep what her name was. She said, “Diane.” My wife asked for her last name. The woman said, “I don’t have to give you that!” Then she hung up…

How could a government-run service be any worse than these unaccountable, unethical, disgusting creeps?

This flawed logic is common among those favoring the idea of nationalized care, based on the assumption that the system we have to today is free and thus represents the failure of the free market. But the U.S. health care industry is perhaps the most regulated industry in this country. As Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute noted in a radio interview:

The existing system is awful because what drives costs up in the existing system, what reduces the quality of health care in the existing system is government mandates, government bureaucracy, Medicare and Medicaid, government purchases of drugs, HMOs, all the different tax benefits that are given to particular forms of medical insurance versus others that are not given those tax benefits.

It is a grave injustice to condemn the free market based on the performance of an industry that is clearly not free to operate without the weight government intervention. As the choir of voices demanding health care reform continues to rise, we must clearly identify that the current problems stem from too little freedom, not too much.