Here’s the followup to the article I pointed to last week about the myths of Canadian health care. Mythbusting Canadian Healthcare, Part II. This one takes on the free marketeers and their spurious arguments about the healthcare market.
The private sector has had 20 years to prove that it could deliver low-cost, quality care using those vaunted business-style efficiencies; and it has failed us utterly and completely. This fact should be the ultimate nail in the coffin of the old conservative canard that “the free market always does it better.”
One of the market-based arguments not mentioned in this article is the one that says that what we need to lower healthcare costs is for consumers to have more information and choices. Then the consumer makes an informed decision, carefully weighing the balance between services and cost. This sounds appealing in theory (what’s wrong with more data and more choice?), but falls apart in practice. When I call 911, I don’t want the dispatcher to offer me bids from three competing ambulance firms; I want them to send a damn ambulance right now.
Ezra Klein had a post today about why market-based approaches (pushed by libertarians and Republicans) are inherently flawed.