U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-07-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
8,998 posts, read 13,110,510 times
Reputation: 3536

Advertisements

Could the United States have a total free market health care?
No Medicare, no Medicaid, no health insurance companies, no Tricare, etc. Just a pure cash only (or debit/credit card) system.

Do you think that could work?

I see a lot of Conservatives talk this sort of system up and I'm just wondering what other people think.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-07-2010, 12:51 PM
 
23,851 posts, read 19,863,632 times
Reputation: 9383
Medicare and Medicaid are already free-market healthcare institutions by virtue of the $50 TRILLION in unfunded mandates, which pretty much assure that your grandkids will be paying out of pocket for any healthcare they receive after this House of Cards collapses under its own weight. Who will get that cash? The free-market, of course, because those entitlements will be a thing of the past.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 10,002,060 times
Reputation: 2831
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleLove08 View Post
Could the United States have a total free market health care?
No Medicare, no Medicaid, no health insurance companies, no Tricare, etc. Just a pure cash only (or debit/credit card) system.

Do you think that could work?

I see a lot of Conservatives talk this sort of system up and I'm just wondering what other people think.
No, only 5% of the population would be able to afford decent health coverage in that case.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,279,724 times
Reputation: 4279
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleLove08 View Post
Could the United States have a total free market health care?
No Medicare, no Medicaid, no health insurance companies, no Tricare, etc. Just a pure cash only (or debit/credit card) system.

Do you think that could work?

I see a lot of Conservatives talk this sort of system up and I'm just wondering what other people think.
Honestly, a capitalist society that ushered in an era of "free-market health care" by doing away with things like health insurance companies could hardly be called capitalist or free market.

Would it work?

I doubt it. The medical equipment, technology and procedures of today still have to be paid for - and they're expensive. If all we relied on was the traditional doctor with the black medicine bag who came by whenever you were feeling ill, then that would be one thing.

But, even if we got rid of some of the things that are jacking up the costs of medical care in this country, I still think the average person could barely afford to have anything more than an X-ray or basic exam done when needed.

Open heart surgeries, cancer treatments, and the like would still cost thousands of dollars and I just don't see the majority of people in this country being able to pay for such things.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Missouri
3,751 posts, read 3,098,905 times
Reputation: 1617
I don't think it could without the help of insurance companies. Some procedures are just too expensive and accidents or disease do happen unexpectedly. I don't believe that government or employers should provide health care. That should be provided by the individual for himself using a combination of HSA's and health insurance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 01:12 PM
 
15,065 posts, read 19,713,278 times
Reputation: 12234
Total free market only exists in the brain of conservatives.

There's always tariffs, taxes, subsidies, etc, etc. to tilt the economic balance to favor one side or the other.



What would free market health care be like?
People would be able to say "I choose to not go to the doctor" and freely go and buy their own medicine without prescription.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 10,765,848 times
Reputation: 4109
Yep, just let all the costly old people die. No more uncomfortable talks with the old folks, no more hearing about health complaints, no more awkward dealings with those who lived too long.

Sounds like my grandpa, who spouts that all Medicare is evil socialism. We point out that he would be dead without it, and the other 2 grandparents, because they could not have afforded the life saving treatments (and medications) that makes sure he is around to argue this crap over and over. Doesn't stop him though, which is funny to watch.

The great thing about America, you can say whatever the hell you want no matter how stupid it is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
680 posts, read 1,202,195 times
Reputation: 508
I'd love to see all "ordinary" health care provided by the free market with a pay-as-you-go cash system. I went for a decade without insurance or any government benefits and I paid a lot in medical expenses but I loved the freedom of being able to choose who to see when I wanted to see them.

However, socioeconomic inequality renders such a system impossible as the only means for providing care. There has to be some kind of safety net for those who cannot afford to pay their own way. Ideally we'd all be able to afford to pay for ourselves and take full responsibility for our personal health but it's not a feasible option. How to create a system that works for everyone, that's the essence of the current debate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,133 posts, read 20,833,904 times
Reputation: 8293
We'll be finding out soon enough, if Health Care isn't reformed Medicare will collapse as the Boomers reach retirement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2010, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Maryland about 20 miles NW of DC
6,111 posts, read 5,080,033 times
Reputation: 2428
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleLove08 View Post
Could the United States have a total free market health care?
No Medicare, no Medicaid, no health insurance companies, no Tricare, etc. Just a pure cash only (or debit/credit card) system.

Do you think that could work?

I see a lot of Conservatives talk this sort of system up and I'm just wondering what other people think.

I have a simple answer, NO. The market for haealthcare is inelastic becuase:
(1) The consummer has no real choice in that when your health is impaired by either an acute or chronic medical problem you have to choose what might be a financially crushing bill or doing nothing and losing ones life. I am a good example I am on a course of medical treatment that costs about $2,000 per week and will be on this for the rest of my life. The five year survival rate on this treatment is 30 % . The alternative is to decline treatment and accept that if I am lucky I might live for another four weeks. Most of us when confronted with this choice will take the poet Dylan Thomas' advice and fight even if the odds are stacked against us.
(2) There is little incentive for providers cut or significantly control costs.
Since as shown by (1) above you have got a market that has no real choice and a consummer base of that is scared of death and hardly able to make rational economic choices, providers of technology, doctors and drug companies have the ultimate pricing power and those cost-demand curves you learn in Econ 101 really can't be drawn. One impact of this is on innovation. A scientist or enigineer who comes up with an innovation that threatens a product or service that contributes to the company bottom line is as welcome as a skunk at a garden party.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Politics and Other Controversies
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:53 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top