Your thoughts on The US Healthcare System

 Pages PREV 1 2 3
 

kiri3tsubasa:
I would prefer that not a single penny from the government goes to the health insurance companies, thus forcing them to rely on the free market capitalist system forcing them to actually compete by means of providing good service for cheap when compared to the other company. By doing this we have competition in health insurance providers, something desperately needed. But then again what do I know, I'm just someone that supports free market capitalism.

Well, except in healthcare that doesn't happen. In normal free-market capitalism, if the price of...well let me just quote myself here to save time:

Lilani:
...The reason the base cost of medicines and medical procedures in the US is so expensive is because normal free market rules do not apply to something like medicine. Remember when the price of an EpiPen went up 400% for no good reason? That happened because, unlike other products, there is no price people won't pay for a life-saving medicine or medical procedure. If the price of Cheetos were to suddenly go up 400%, I'd stop buying Cheetos. If the price of an emergency medical device I use to save my life when I have an allergic reaction goes up 400%, I will spend all the money I have plus quite a bit that I don't in order to get it. In economics this is called inelastic demand, because no matter what happens to the cost the demand remains the same.

Socialized healthcare systems fix this problem by setting up the government as a price negotiator. With free market healthcare, while customers are subject to whatever prices pharmaceutical companies offer, they are not in a position to negotiate that price or drive competition for pricing. However with socialized healthcare, the government is in a position of power to cause pharmaceutical companies to compete with one another to be "the one" to provide medicine or medical equipment for that entire country. And the government DOES have incentive to make sure the things covered by their plan are both affordable and safe, because if people get sicker from what services they are provided, that only costs them MORE to fix.

Inelastic demand is also the reason that Martin Shkreli shitbag was able to raise the price of that HIV drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 literally overnight. And before even that, back in 2011 the price of a medicine to treat Crohn's disease went up 1200%. Prominent YouTuber Hank Green happens to have Crohn's disease, and you can see him talking about this exact subject here. His brother John Green is another prominent YouTuber, and actually made a fiscally conservative argument for universal healthcare, based on healthcare's unique economic situation.

Long story short: Wishing for free market capitalism to rule healthcare is grand in theory, but due to the nature of medicine and healthcare this only facilitates the current level of price hiking and exploitation of patients that plagues America's healthcare system (and was actually worse back before the ACA because until that, people with Crohn's disease often didn't even get insurance and had to pay for everything out of pocket).

Lilani:
Snip

Another thing to take into account is "patents". They also make typical free market competition much harder. And while this doesn't affect "mainstream" pharmaceuticals, for specific treatments/diseases you might end up having only one or two suppliers. Price fixing becomes really too easy at that point.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here