(In answer to a columnist writing about the free market cure for healthcare).
I couldn't agree more.
With the healthcare debate, I've seen that there's a difference between recognizing symptoms and offering the correct diagnosis.
Could our healthcare system use some help? You betcha. ERs are often misused by bored people insulated from copays; abortion is a degrading, preying, and lucrative industry within the system; frivolous litigation drives up physician's medical insurance, and private insurance plans can be atrociously expensive as a result. But if I ever needed surgery while I was in Canada, as they put me on the wait list, I'd click my heels together and holler "There's No Place Like Home!"
Flaws are necessary, but not sufficient, for a crisis. Is our healthcare system on the brink of collapse? No. Then why are we being told that it is? As M. Stanton Evans points out in Clear and Present Dangers, social engineers love crises. After all, if we become convinced our case is terminal, won't we be more willing to accept an experimental treatment?
But if we don't have the proper diagnosis for what ails us, then we can spend a fortune and only end up in counseling for a government-dependency. (Or should I say "On a wait list.")
I firmly believe that the crisis in our healthcare system today is excess government regulation. In short, our main problem is too much government -- not too little! If our federal government misdiagnoses our primary condition, they will prescribe exactly what was poisoning us in the first place.
As you point out, the free market is a great antidote.
(Originally written 9/18/09)