The free market warriors rush to the town hall meetings to defend their beloved free market. With necks as red as the stripes in our flag, they rail against "socialist medicine", but what they call free market medicine is not so free when you look at it.
Americans think they love to defend free market medical care. When the subject of high cost of medical care comes up, those against reform always jump to defend the free market.
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I love the free market, but it has little to do with the practice of medicine in the USA. I love free market, but I have no clue where these guys get the idea that medical care in America is a free market.
If one of those free market defenders read this, I'd like to hear you explain exactly what makes you think it is free market. I challenge you to correct me if I'm wrong. Set me straight with a comment at the end of this post, please.
Foremost in America one can only buy medicine with a prescription from a doctor. That is not free market; that is governmental intervention. Now it might be a good thing…but it is not free market, and it drives up the price of medicine by forcing a doctor’s visit. It imposes a fee to a third party. A buyer can not bargain with the seller of medicine. He must pay a third party for permission to buy from the sellers. That is regulation.
In Mexico, people are free to buy the medicine they believe they need. In America, people are forced by the existing system to pay a doctor for permission to buy medicine. Now, it is very common for doctors to prescribe a number of medicines to the same patient. Very often, one of those medicines reacts with another. My wife’s grandmother was taking about 15 different medicines. She developed a horrible rash. The doctor prescribed a new medicine. She continued to suffer.
Finally, my wife looked all the medicines up on the internet. One of her perscriptions was known to cause rash when used with another of her medicines. She called the doctor, told him about it, and he said. “Tell her to stop taking “X”. What is so great about a system like this? That doctor added cost to the medical care of his patient, but how helpful was the fee he collected to prescribe something that was hurting her rather than helping her. The doctor required by the rednecks great "free medical system" hurt the patient. No pharmacist would have ever allowed those two medicines to be used together...but the regulated medical care system of America forced the unneeded doctor onto the patient.
I think everyone ever treated in our great medical care system has seen this abuse of medicine, not once, but many times. They know this happens, yet they close their eyes to it and continue to protect the coersive regulations of our current system.
As the defenders of free market assemble in mobs to shout at the town hall meetings, they spew hate at the idea of government regulation, but defend it at the same time. They shake with emotion, but they do all this in an amazing cloud of illusion. When they defend the existing system, they defend intense regulation.
It also leads to a relationship between doctors and drug companies which results in abandonment of perfectly good medicine that is beyond the protection of patents. Doctors don’t prescribe old cheap medicines because the medical journals ignore them. There is no money in them…only healing power.
In the so called, “Greatest healthcare system in the world” this a problem.
There is nothing free market about granting a monopoly to one company preventing free competition. If you don’t think that drives up the cost of medicine, you are beyond reason. Maybe it encourages research…but it is not competition. Don’t justify patent protection by calling it competition. It is not! Don’t pretend to be against regulation on one hand and champion the monopoly of patent on the other. It is a dishonest position.
Advocating patents and intellectual rights is a fair position, but not if the advocate stands upon a free market soapbox. That is a great oratorical lie that is accepted because of the ignorance of the masses. All I'm trying to do is get people to apply the right labels to their opinions.
Finally, the actual free market between doctor and patient is so tiny that it is almost impossible to see a doctor without insurance of some kind. Insurance drives the market. In a free market, the buyer negotiates with the seller. How much negotiation is done between doctor and patient? That is not free market! Stop saying it is! The poor patient that walks into a doctor's office with no insurance but his wallet is the only free market that exists in America. Where is his champion?
The same defenders of free market that shout at the town hall meetings see these timid souls come and go while they wait in the waiting rooms at their own doctor's office. Oh how they rise in collective groups to defend the free market, but oh how quite they are when these insignificant souls are abused at the counter of their local doctor. Where is their courage for the free market, when one of these lost ones try to purchase treatment with cash? Their voice is silent! Their eyes choose not to see! The truth is, "They hate free market medicine!"
What is insurance? It is a social collective pool where all pay into the pool, but only those who have need take from the pool. The many pay for the few. Of those voices that rise above the others at the town hall meetings, how many of these guys do you expect are part of the real free market that pay cash for their medical care?
I'm a member of the IBEW labor union. Besides being a blogger, an insurance adjuster, an art dealer, a real estate investor, and owner of several businesses, I'm an electrician. When I'm not working as an electrician, I pay as much as $800 a month for self-pay health insurance.
I don't believe many of those speakers at the town hall meetings are paying their own insurance, and I almost know that none of them are free market people who pay cash for their treatment. Many of them have insurance through their government jobs. I love the dishonesty of those guys. How about the military? They have government health care, don't they. It certainly is not free market! I never begrudge a military man for his compensation. They deserve more than they get, but I do require them to be honest. If they want government health care for themselves while others pay $800 dollars a month, let them say so. It is dishonest of them to say they fight for our freedom, then advocate the current system that takes away freedom to both buy medicine or bargain with a doctor hooked on the drug of social collective medicine (health insurance).
There is nothing free market about our current health care system. Those who call our system free market are just not paying attention to reality.
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