Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Perils of Reducing Healthcare Competition

Following last week's post, the DC Examiner supplies another thumbs down on single-payer healthcare (hyperlinks added):
[S]erious problems in single-payer systems in Europe and Canada have been well documented. Innovative new drugs in Europe, for instance, take far longer to reach the public than they do in the United States — six months longer for cancer drugs and up to 24 months for other medicines.

A 2007 Frasier Institute study showed delays in Canada are even worse, and thousands of Canadians head south to the United States when they need care quickly. In Great Britain, stories are legion about months-long waits for life-saving surgeries. And in July of last year, the Daily Mail featured a story on a 108-year-old woman who was told she must wait 18 months for a new hearing aid.

Conversely, when consumers choose their doctors and health care insurance from among private doctors and companies, costs and access improve because providers must satisfy patients, not bureaucrats. The otherwise-problematic Medicare prescription drug program, for instance, at least requires private insurance companies to compete for patient participation. Result: In the first two years, average premium costs were less than $24 per month, far better than the $37 predicted by Congress.
Agreed--American healthcare needs more, not less, competition.

(via Conservative Grapevine)

1 comment:

Life Insurance Canada said...

Nice article, but do you really think you have free market based health care in the USA? I think it's one of the most regulated segments in your economy. Government spending is about 55% (am I right?). Possibility to choose your doctor is usually restricted by insurance company and the possibility to choose insurance company is restricted because of employer provided insurance. I don't want to defend socialized system, as a Toronto life insurance broker I am naturally fan of private insurance, I just want to say your system is definitely not very market based...
regards,
Lorne