Exactly. gbaji cries about how the government will ruin everything about health care, when what he doesn't realize is that the private health insurance companies already do all the things he's so afraid of.
I've already pointed out repeatedly that the current system has serious problems. My argument is that the problems it has today are not the free market parts, but the effect of the government's existing involvement in our health care system.
He just has had the fortunate luck to not get sick, so he hasn't had to deal with it. At least I'm assuming he's never been very sick, otherwise he wouldn't be so blind and clueless. Health insurance companies deny people coverage every day.
Out of a very very very large pool of people. Relatively speaking, it happens very very rarely. And it's usually not the assumed "OMG. This guy whose been paying us for 20 years just got sick, so let's drop him or deny coverage!". Denial of care usually is because the insurance actually doesn't cover something (which the patient knew going in and upon which the cost of the insurance was based), or because someone who is already sick buys insurance, lies about the pre-existing condition in order to get a lower cost coverage (or to get it at all), and then starts making expensive claims.
You say that we have the option of choosing our health care elsewhere if they do that, but we really don't. If you have a pre-existing condition, you can't switch insurance companies because a new one won't cover what is already wrong with you.
You don't *now* under the existing system. And that's largely because of the government's meddling. Most of the problems people complain about now did not exist 40+ years ago when comprehensive insurance was very very rare, and most people insured only against the really rare and expensive health issues. Insurance companies could afford to keep you on and cover you *because* those conditions were rare. The odds of something happening is part of the calculation for cost. When the odds are low, the insurance company can afford to cover even very expensive stuff while still keeping the premium cost within reasonable range for most people.
Thankfully that is one of the things that Obamacare will be fixing within the next couple of years.
We could have accomplished the same thing without all the other garbage in Obamacare. That's kind of the point. There were a half dozen or so major reforms that both GOP and Dems agreed on. But instead of doing those things, which also happen to address most of the problems people complain about, the Dems decided to pile a bunch of other stuff on top of it. Then they deliberately made the bill inseperable, so that it could not be dismantled. And then played a bunch of procedural tricks in Congress to get it passed even though it had massive public opposition to it.
Of course, if/when the court rules the mandate unconstitutional, this also means a high probability that the whole law will just be tossed out and the Congress told to start over. So basically several years of time wasted because the Dems just couldn't help but toss their own partisan agenda into the issue and were willing to hold legitimate health care reform hostage to that goal.
Even if you didn't, a lot of the insurance companies do the same damn thing. I'm not going to claim that all of them do it, because obviously I don't know that. But I wouldn't be surprised if all of them did. How can we have a fair market system if all of the providers of a given service do the exact same corrupt things, and not give us the care we have paid for?
As long as the government is mandating and regulating the market to the point where all the companies will do the same thing, then you are correct. We can't have a fair market. Hence why I keep saying to get government out of it.
btw, I'm not completely against the free market concept. I do think there should be some regulation for certain things, but overall I don't have an issue with free market in most cases.
I also agree that we need "some regulation" for certain things. But we are well past just some regulation and well into government choking the free market to death.
It doesn't belong in health care though. Frankly, I don't think the free market system belongs in any market that is a human need.
Stop and think about how absurd that is. All markets involve human needs in some way.
The reason for that is simple, if it is a human need, people will pay whatever they can possibly afford (even at the detriment of other needs that may be less important at a given time) for that particular item, because they NEED it.
Which is precisely the reason why we should use the free market to manage this. Since people will be willing to pay any amount for something they "need", as long as there is any limit to resources (and there always is), costs will become prohibitive over time if you don't allow the free market to step in. While it may seem harsh, the reality is that there is only X amount of dollars to pay for liver transplants, or brain surgeries, or chemo treatments. This does not change if you put the government in charge of things. It just changes the criteria used to determine who gets those things.
Your comment above about why candy bars or whatever it was, don't cost $1500 is not an equal comparison because nobody needs to eat candy bars. People do need health care, and they need (nutritious) food, and water and shelter, amongst a few other things. If people cannot afford something that they need, they can die. Or at the very least, their quality of life will suffer greatly.
People need to eat though. They need roofs over their heads. They need clothing. They need heat and air conditioning, and transportation, and education, and clean water, and air, and on and on and on and on. You can certainly find some individual products which people don't need, but not any whole market. The reality is that there is always more need for things then there are things available. That's the principle of scarcity. Again, you're not changing this by using the government rather than the free market to place relative value on those things and determine who can get them and who can't. You're only changing how we make those determinations.
For example, Person A and Person B both have brain tumors. Person A has no health insurance, while Person B does. Person A cannot afford a biopsy or a surgery to remove the tumor, so they will most likely die. Person B can, because of their health insurance. There is a good chance they will survive the brain tumor as long as it isn't a particularly aggressive variety of brain tumor. How in the world is that in any way fair?
Depends on your definition of fair and how broadly you look at the issue. Person A has no health insurance because he can't afford it. He can't afford it because he does not have a job which pays him enough. His job pays him so little because the value of what he does to the rest of society is relatively small. Person B has health insurance because he can afford it. He can afford it because his job *is* valued high enough by the rest of society to pay him a high enough salary.
While it seems harsh at first glance the free market method automatically ensures that those who receive the life saving/extending health care are those who are most valuable to society. And that value is not based on some arbitrary determination. It's based on the value placed on the labor of that person as judged independently and individually by other people who themselves are seeking the greatest value in return for their own labors. There is no better way to make that determination.
It's as "fair' as it can be. Fair does not always mean "nice".
You said it makes no logical sense to support a universal health care system. As far as I'm concerned, it makes no logical sense to NOT support a universal health care system. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
It really depends on what you think your goal is. IMO, universal health care is something sold to the masses to make them think that they can make everyone's lives better. But it is a myth. Ultimately, you still have scarcity. You still have costs. What universal health care does is take the cost and purchasing choices out of the hands of those who have earned the money in question and into the hands of the government. I really do believe that, like most modern liberal political positions, it has very little to do with actually providing "free health care" and far far more to do with empowering the government. And while I'm sure that a good percentage of those pushing for these sorts of things really do believe that if they can just give the government sufficient power to run things that it can create a better brighter future for us all, I think they are being dangerously naive.
The power to provide is the power to take away. Don't ever forget that.