Almost three weeks ago, Donald Trump rolled out his plan for the future of America’s health care. The Left reacted in the most predictable way possible, by making absurd claims like “Trump just made rape a pre-existing condition” and by calling for a universal health care system.
This led to a resurgence from Bernie Sanders supporters, who re-endorsed his “Medicare for all” slogan, his abysmal health care plan that would attempt to be funded through (you guessed it) increased taxes on the rich, an increase in capital gains taxes, and health care premiums paid by employers.
Of course, what this fails to take into account are the potential ramifications of raising the rates, as well as the fact that Sanders’ plan would inevitably end up like almost every other universal health care system: overburdened and struggling.
Imperial College professor Brian Jarman’s 2013 study found that death rates in the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. were 45 percent higher than in American hospitals. A large number of those deaths could have been avoided, according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which concluded that 750 patients a month or 1/28 die from lack of care or mistakes that could have been prevented within the NHS. This is without mentioning the shortages in workers, with the number of nurses declining by 50 percent between 2000 and 2014. The U.K. is not alone in this; Canada and the Scandinavian countries have experienced very similar problems even with extremely high taxes and an abundance of natural resources that fuel their economy.
So how does a country like America with a population where 28.4 million people were uninsured as of March 2017, rectify its shortcomings?
It should all start with a reality check; health care is a commodity provided by a third party, not a human right. The sooner governments and individuals realize this, the better.
Health care is like food: humans need it to survive, but even though it can be a necessity, you still can’t morally steal food. if everyone who needed food stole it, there would be no incentive for businesses to produce and provide food.
By the same token, when health care is treated as a right, individuals can demand a doctor treat them at any given price, which not only violates the doctor’s right to charge for their services, which is immoral, but also de-incentivizes jobs in health care due to the inevitably low pay that accommodates this, reducing the incentive for someone to spend many years and huge funds training to practice medicine.
America should adopt a system of privatization, where competition within the health care’s free market is encouraged, not regulated as it is now.
One argument against privatized health care (and for Universal Health Care) is that insurance companies will continue to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. What the argument fails to take into account is that 90 percent of health care policies cover pre-existing conditions, as shown by health care expert Avik Roy. The free market has created a system by which those with employer-based coverage don’t need screening because the insurance is purchased in bulk by the employer. For those with employment-based coverage (currently roughly 50 percent of those with insurance), pre-existing condition exclusions can only be triggered if the client has had health insurance for less than 12 months. This encourages and rewards those who buy long-term medical coverage (which promotes good life choices and planning) as opposed to those that only purchase insurance when they get ill.
If we want short-term, rubbish but available health care we could opt for a universal system. But if we want a long-term, affordable and high-quality health care system that is cheap and relies on individual responsibility, protects individual rights and incorporates basic supply and demand economics, then privatization is the way to go.