Brian Baker: Free-market health care is the best

By Brian Baker

Last update: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

In the “Weekender” edition of The Signal published March 11 was a column by Jim de Bree entitled “Long road to fixing Obamacare.” Unfortunately, I think his column is very far off the mark.

The first clue: his use of the term “level playing field.” Every time I hear that nonsense, I know I’m about to be hit with some big government socialist scheme that usually involves wealth redistribution, and government interference in this arena is a perfect example.

What Jim doesn’t seem to accept is that government isn’t the solution to the problem; government is the problem. We need to get the government out of the health insurance field all together.

The Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity, not of outcome, so the government has no legitimate role to play in “leveling the playing field” while interfering with free-market solutions to the problem, as would be realized by competitive product availability, coupled with private philanthropic and charitable activities.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are three simple steps to addressing the problems in this arena:

  1. Remove the barriers to interstate sales of health insurance products. Free market product competition will, by its very nature, lower prices and increase choice options for consumers.
  2. Streamline the FDA drug approval process. It can currently cost upward of a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market or a medical procedure to accepted practice.
  3. Institute major medical tort reform to eliminate the need for the practice of “defensive medicine.” Patients are often subjected to unnecessary testing and other procedures their doctors require simply in an effort to indemnify themselves from potential future lawsuits. Defensive medicine is a significant cost multiplier.

Do those three simple things and we’ll see health care and related costs stop their spiraling ascent and return those costs to an actual basis reflecting real needs and usage as determined by free market principles.

Socialized medicine, under whatever guise, is not the answer.

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Brian Baker: Free-market health care is the best

Protestors file into Congressman Steve Knight's Santa Clarita offices on Feb. 23 to protest what they called "Trump care" with the United Here organization. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

In the “Weekender” edition of The Signal published March 11 was a column by Jim de Bree entitled “Long road to fixing Obamacare.” Unfortunately, I think his column is very far off the mark.

The first clue: his use of the term “level playing field.” Every time I hear that nonsense, I know I’m about to be hit with some big government socialist scheme that usually involves wealth redistribution, and government interference in this arena is a perfect example.

What Jim doesn’t seem to accept is that government isn’t the solution to the problem; government is the problem. We need to get the government out of the health insurance field all together.

The Constitution guarantees equality of opportunity, not of outcome, so the government has no legitimate role to play in “leveling the playing field” while interfering with free-market solutions to the problem, as would be realized by competitive product availability, coupled with private philanthropic and charitable activities.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are three simple steps to addressing the problems in this arena:

  1. Remove the barriers to interstate sales of health insurance products. Free market product competition will, by its very nature, lower prices and increase choice options for consumers.
  2. Streamline the FDA drug approval process. It can currently cost upward of a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market or a medical procedure to accepted practice.
  3. Institute major medical tort reform to eliminate the need for the practice of “defensive medicine.” Patients are often subjected to unnecessary testing and other procedures their doctors require simply in an effort to indemnify themselves from potential future lawsuits. Defensive medicine is a significant cost multiplier.

Do those three simple things and we’ll see health care and related costs stop their spiraling ascent and return those costs to an actual basis reflecting real needs and usage as determined by free market principles.

Socialized medicine, under whatever guise, is not the answer.

About the author

Brian Baker

Brian Baker

  • Ron Bischof

    Interesting perspectives on customer driven, rather than 3rd party payer, insurance:

    http://time.com/4649914/why-the-doctor-takes-only-cash/

    http://www.hoover.org/research/how-cure-health-care-0

    • Brian Baker

      Very interesting links, Ron.

      • Ron Bischof

        Research: Perhaps Market Forces Do Work in Health Care After All

        https://hbr.org/2016/12/research-perhaps-market-forces-do-work-in-health-care-after-all

        • Brian Baker

          LOL!

          Ya think?

          As that link said, why would the market forces of healthcare be different from the market forces of concrete? Or, for that matter, food or cars or anything else?

          • Ron Bischof

            I’ve always considered heath care a service and haven’t read a compelling case for why it should be considered an exception, Brian.

          • Brian Baker

            Neither have I, Ron.

            In fact, I’m old enough to remember what things were like when I was a kid and we didn’t have this byzantine and elephantine structure in place. When I was sick the doctor came to the house, examined me, prescribed whatever, my Mom wrote him a check, and he left. She went to the drug store, got the meds, wrote a check, and came home. No muss, no fuss.

          • Ron Bischof

            I experienced much the same, Brian.

            For that vast majority of Americans, a return to paying out of pocket for routine medical expenses and major medical insurance makes sense.

            Our current system makes as much sense as bundling in my monthly landscaping expense into my homeowner’s insurance.

          • Brian Baker

            Perfect metaphor.

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Brian Baker

Brian Baker