Monday, June 26, 2006


Free Market Health Care

You may not have noticed if you don't pay close attention to health care policy, but the big new ideas in this area are becoming more pro-market.

Tennessee had to give up a big state plan to insure people through Medicaid -- it did but was too expensive to maintain. Now the best policy options are experiments in South Carolina and Florida to put more personal responsibility on the Medicaid recipients.

In the broader health care market, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are the best news since chewable vitamins. Though they can become even better.

The best books on health care policy advocate market solutions. Even two Republican presidential candidates -- Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney -- are trying to improve health care through markets.

Most state-level work focuses on covering the uninsured, but a larger percentage of drivers go without auto insurance and there is no car care crisis.

I always see it as the unintended consequences of the best of intentions.

It would be nice if everybody was fully insured and all that, but not everybody needs to be or desires to be. Why force them as well.

I think a free-market approach would be better. I don't see how it could be worse...
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