Thursday, January 19, 2012

a libertarian advocates for socialized medicine...

We've been discussing doctors, their salaries, and the health care system in the US in a thread on 2p2 and here is something I thought about posting there but decided to put in a blog:

if you really want to improve medical care and patient doctor relationships in this country start with the biggest criminals involved in the economy: 1) Insurance companies and HMOs and 2) lawyers/laws that take advantage of malpractice insurance to reap huge rewards due to to mistakes that doctors will inevitably make.

I've argued this many times before, but I'm very much a libertarian in most of my political philosophy, but I've come to believe strongly in the need health care to be publicly funded and directed assuming that you place any faith or value in society as means to improve the condition of the individuals that exist under it's social contract. The medical system as constructed in our country has far more problems than the education system, the mass transit system, our court system, etc. However instead of looking to the people who do the work because they love it and it's important to them we continually allow politicians to influence the laws and system who are essentially bought and sold by private corporate interests who are simply looking to make a profit. While I have no problem with profit or even the greed that leads to such actions, you can't deny that due to the middlemen in the system it is antithetical to doctors providing quality services to their patients. Certain systems simply don't function successfully in a free market system because the services being provided to the customer are too complex for the customer to accurately assess their worth or value. Simply put regular people (myself included) have no idea what doctor to go to if something is wrong or how much we should be paying.

Free markets function efficiently on the idea that people can successfully evaluate the products and services they are paying for and accurately assess their worth. Health care doesn't work this way because the science and technology that we use to diagnose and heal patients has outstripped our basic understanding of the human body as well as our ability to financially plan for disastrous events. We're able to prevent and heal ailments that we didn't even have names for in the past, but all of that has comes with a price that is a result of countless hours of research, training, and work. Making treatment both more expensive as well as more confusing.

I have a lot more thoughts on the subject (mostly that insurance companies are essentially profiting off of denying you the service they purportedly provide) but I want to play a session and get some stuff done before the duke game tonight.

I'll try to revisit this topic another time as I find it interesting, but I have to stop after awhile because it's so tilting seeing as I doubt any of this is going to change anytime soon.

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