To The Daily Sun,
I never expected to take exception to one of Mr. Veverka's letters to The Sun, but upon reading the heading of his Friday (March 24) letter my involuntary response was, "Come on, James!"
I realize that it is the editorial staff of the Sun that chooses the headlines to letters, but even to include a statement such as, "There is not a successful market-based health care system on Earth and never will be because people are not the bottom line" only confuses the issue and gives ammunition to the enemy. The market is our national religion. Genuflect and declare your system to be market-based.
What do we mean by a "health care system?" Seems to me we have a health care system for insurance companies, not people. And the system we do have is, more or less, market-based. With regard to the last part of your statement, let's visit a market. Mrs. J. Doe visits a market with her shopping list, chooses within her budget and stops at the payout counter. Does anyone ask where the money came from? No. That is not part of economic market theory, but rather labor economics. All we need for a successful market-based personal health care system is for people to have access to a "health care budget" and that there be posted prices for health care services/items. The budget is necessary to assure that people are constrained to choose responsibly given the posted prices. Once prices are posted medical price and quality comparison web sites will bloom.
And the budget? No more administratively complicated than what credit card companies do every day. The money ... there's the rub, but the money is there, it is being spent wastefully everyday. A health care tax just like the Social Security tax, and the abolition of all the other health care taxes and premiums that people and industry face every day will do.
The elephant in the room is the insurance companies and, perhaps, the bug-a-boo of socialized medicine. This approach is entirely hands-off with respect to medicine except for the posted prices. But don't doctors believe in the free (and open) market?
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