12-16-07 - 3

We may never have reasonable health care costs in America. The problem is that the American public has this incorrect idea that allowing people to take huge profits out of the system is a crucial and necessary and even admirable part of capitalism, which is the inalienable right of every American and drives innovation and improvements in service. This is questionable in any market, but it's just completely wrong in a non-competitive area like health care. The most important part of capitalism is that the sellers have the freedom to provide the services that they think the market wants, and the buyers have the ability to choose between various sellers with good information about the costs and quality of the different choices. Both of these are completely missing in health care. The problem is when you tack this onto an American ethos where people believe they are entitled to massive profit, you wind up with an inefficient bloated mess. To fix health care, we need to do things like motivate the providers to cut costs, which would encourage them to do more prevention, we need to get way more primary care doctors and less emergency room visits, but primary care doctors make way less. In America any system such as forcing more doctors to do primary care instead of higher paying specialist jobs is a non-starter because of our whacked out misunderstanding of the benefits of capitalism.

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old rants