Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Folly than Fact

John McCain's proposed health care policy is another example of irrational faith in a market that has already failed millions of Americans, particularly the 50 million without any health insurance. The problem is that "the market" and health have an extremely poor track record in all countries that have implemented market-oriented measures. The costs in each of the countries has increased without an increase in the actual services provided or quality of the care. This is the reason (as mentioned at length in previous posts) that Americans spend the most per capita on health but have among the poorest health outcomes for OECD countries. The U.S. government currently covers health for the two groups most prone to health problems: the poor and the elderly. By bringing all Americans into a national health system, the higher risk of these groups could be shared across a larger pool. This would bring down costs per patient overall in the U.S. and would reduce the overhead and bureaucracy needed to run the system. While both Barack and Hillary have imperfect plans for health care they are vastly superior than the "faith-based" plan from McCain. While government may not be the perfect provider of health, we have plenty of examples of more successful programs run by other countries that we could draw lessons from.