Opinion To improve health care, look to the free market, not a single-payer

20:25  09 february  2018
20:25  09 february  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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A single - payer system — in which government bureaucrats rather than patients make individual health - care decisions Repealing and replacing Obamacare is still an important goal; but we don’t need a big piece of legislation to start moving toward a freer , more competitive health - care market .

While the UK and Canada’s single - payer health care systems have achievement gaps of 6.3 and 4.4 percent, the free market countries are much closer to fulfilling their potential.

a man drinking from a glass © Provided by The Hill Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

In today's partisan environment, there is bipartisan agreement over one thing: Our health-care system needs big reforms to bring down costs and improve access to care. The question is how do we change it?

It's clear the current system isn't perfect, but that shouldn't be an invitation for a single-payer government system like they have in the United Kingdom.

Instead, now is the time for the Trump administration to double-down on market-based reforms, which will inject real competition into the marketplace, improve quality of care, and ultimately drive down costs.

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Let's look at Fein's principles in detail, contrasting them with a free - market health - care system, keeping in mind that the health care system we have today is NOT a free - market system but a heavily regulated managed- care system — single - payer -lite.

Economics Health Care Single Payer Scandinavia. Economic mobility – and the subsequent improvement of health outcomes – must come from the free market . by Adam Barsouk.

When President Trump tweeted earlier this week that the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain provides "really bad and non-personal medical care," progressive activists were enraged.

It was, of course, an attack on many Congressional Democrats who are pushing for universal health care.

And it's an idea that, in the wake of the Affordable Care Act and the problems it has created, 65 percent of Democratic voters support.

But the president is absolutely correct. A single-payer system - in which government bureaucrats rather than patients make individual health-care decisions - means a country is left with something that more closely resembles the post office, with long wait times and limited services.

This winter's serious flu epidemic is a perfect example of why we should absolutely reject any movement towards a single-payer system, and should instead insist on policies that allow for greater choice and competition in health care.

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It's the president of the free - market -minded Galen Institute versus a pediatrician/activist for a single - payer system in spirited debate on improving American health care . Author

Single payer does not specify a health care delivery mechanism; it specifies a health care financing mechanism. The free market in health care may deliver a good health insurance product to those who can afford it, but it is not designed to distribute health insurance equally or universally.

The recent uptick in sick patients in the U.K. has further overwhelmed an already crippled system. The additional strain of the flu means that, for example, more than 55,000 'nonessential operations' - including hip replacements and cataract surgeries - have been suspended to deal with the influx of patients.

And, of course, it's not just during flu season that the British people suffer from rationed care. For years, breakthrough drugs to address Hepatitis C or HIV were declined by the NHS, despite the fact that those same treatments have been available in the United States. What's more, staff shortages are a real challenge for the NHS.

The British have been losing health-care workers for a long time due to poor pay incentives; now the threat that there won't be a future in health care has caused a hemorrhaging of staff, who are moving abroad for better opportunities.

Despite the defensive pose many in the U.K. took following the president's attack, there's no doubt many worry about their health care woes.

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In a single payer system, health care is a right instead of being treated as a privilege. Providing good care , working in rural areas, and other possibilities can be legislated into the system to ease the transition from free - market systems to single payer systems.

No, while the free market is wonderful for many things, it is an abomination for health care . Until you have experienced the joy of having your insurance Actually, no, this is the final point….. Single payer is free market . It is just that there is only one payer at the point of purchase, payment.

In fact, overcrowded waiting rooms and the concern that high populations of immigrants are further burdening the system played a real role in Britain's referendum to leave the European Union back in 2016.

Let all of this be a lesson to Americans. Repealing and replacing Obamacare is still an important goal; but we don't need a big piece of legislation to start moving toward a freer, more competitive health-care market.

In fact, Congress and the Trump administration have already taken important steps, including terminating the individual mandate, discussing the elimination of Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), removing regulatory barriers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to streamline the generic approval process, and taking steps to ensure manufacturer-negotiated discounts get shared with patients at the pharmacy counter.

All of these reforms are reining in government, increasing competition, improving quality of care, and bringing down costs for consumers.

What's clear is that substantive health-care reform requires less government interference so that patients have more ownership and control over their health-care dollars and choices.

Universal health coverage proponents may paint a rosy picture, but in reality it is a system that poses a real danger to consumers. The U.K. system has shown us that a nationalized health system is not the answer.

To reverse the damaging effects of the Affordable Care Act, the last thing we should do is consider single-payer health care that will surely make our system worse. The real answer to better care is a market system that puts patients and not government in charge.

Matthew Kandrach is the president of Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, a free-market oriented consumer advocacy organization.

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