If car insurance were structured like health insurance, oil changes would cost only a few dollars with a co-payment. Low-income car owners would qualify for free coverage. Oil would be changed constantly, with the insured demanding the best, most expensive oil be used. Mechanics would not be able to keep up with demand; they would have to raise their prices regularly to comply with increasing compliance costs from insurance companies. Needless repairs would be frequent because car owners would have little incentive to prevent them.
John Stossel reported on health care policy recently on ABC's 20/20. He pointed out that in Canada MRI's are more available for pets than for humans. Human health care is socialized. Health care for pets is not.
But we don't need to look to our furry friends up North to see that more government involvement in health care, such as Hillary Clinton's just announced plan, isn't the answer. In the United States, costs are falling in uninsured areas like plastic and lasik surgery where competition for patients is fierce. Meanwhile costs for insured procedures are rising faster than inflation.
Consumers need to know how much their care costs and care providers need to compete on price, quality, and service. Free markets are the solution to a health care crisis that is of, by, and for the government.
Dr. Byron Schlomach is the director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute.
Cato Institute: Health Care Policy
David Gratzer: The Cure, How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care