Sunday, September 18, 2016

Free market in health care issue

Few people have doubt that capitalism and the free market are excellent for developing our society. Since Adam Smith wrote “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” free market has been accepted in almost all countries. The collapse of Soviet Union was very symbolic as capitalism based on free market was a superior social system upon communism. Even China, the almost only example of successful administration of communism, approves the importance of the free market.

However, the free market is not a panacea for the challenges emerging in the world. There have been several cases reported in which free market made us unhappy.

Among them, issues of medical care have many points of discussion. Recently, Obama administration introduced an entire health insurance system for the US citizens. The Obama Care will be undoubtedly the most impressive legacy of Obama. But, many Republicans are still opposing to this scheme in which all citizens are forced to join health insurance.

In general, members of Republican Party believe in the free market, and they dislike to be regulated by external power such as national legislation. The health insurance is no exception.

However, health care matter has some unique characters each of which makes it difficult to realize positive effects of the free market. First, most people do not really expect the possibility to be rewarded by health insurance. We are likely to underestimate the cost potentially emerged in the future. It means that the incentive for buying the service of health insurance tend not to work properly. Second, if a person gets an illness, he or she would cause troubles to other people, through the spread of infection or calling for an ambulance. Health care service is generally public goods, and it is difficult to exclude people without health insurance from service users. If an infected person is left untreated, he or she will inflict more damage to other users.

It occurred in real in the Indiana state. An outbreak of AIDS emerged there in late the 20th century. The main reason was opioid injection with dirty needles by drug abusers. Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana State, had to make the decision to induce the policy of clean needle distribution program, against his previous ideology as a Republican.

The Atlantic: Can Free Markets Keep People Healthy?

I believe the free market will make us happier, and I disliked to be regulated by others. In the future, the governance of nations will be shrunk, and many people will live without protection by countries or other authorities. However, it will take a long time for the utopia to be realized. At present, I think that the policy presented by Democratic Party is preferable to that by Republican Party. It is an issue of balance.

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