Health Care and the Free Market
Since its inception, Dr. Dan’s Freedom Forum has been an advocate for the Free Market as a basis for economic growth and upward personal mobility. Individual freedom, the absence of coercion, is derived from combining the ability to choose one’s future course of action with accepting personal responsibility for the outcome of one’s decisions.
Competition is the tool of the Free Market, leading to increased quality and opportunity . . . the engine of upward mobility. Inevitably, competition leads either to success or failure. Both are part of the process of the Free Market, and the lessons learned from failure are part of every future success.
The Free Market, by providing multiple options, is the nemesis of tyrannical governments. Freedom of Choice is the antagonist of control, and control is what the government desires most of all. To defeat choice, government intervenes in the Free Market to skew the competitive process by preventing failure and creating dependency . . . That’s basic Free Market economic philosophy, Milton Friedman style.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. ~Milton Friedman
Once upon a time in our country, we had true free market medical care. Doctors and patients interacted with each other by the free exchange of goods and services. Competition based on quality, location, availability, and price enabled patients access to the care they needed, and most physicians understood their role in providing healthcare to all.
For the most part, the destruction of that system has been achieved by the cooperative efforts of the insurance industry to increase its profits and by state and federal governments to increase control over people. As your physician examines you, a representative of your insurance carrier and a bureaucrat from HHS are in that room with you. They determine the extent and quality of the care your physician is allowed to provide for you. And you have little or no recourse.
Unfortunately, we are all victims of misconceptions about medical insurance and healthcare. For instance, having no insurance does not mean that you won’t get healthcare. Emergency Rooms are required to provide care for anyone who requests it, and free or low-cost clinics do exist.
Conversely, having insurance is not a guarantee that you will receive care if no provider accepts your plan.
As third-party payments decrease for covered services, to remain profitable, providers are forced to adjust parameters by which patients are examined and care is given. It is not feasible to deliver medical care that costs more to provide than the amount insurance will reimburse. As a result, physicians must bypass complex patients as they transition to a “one-complaint-per-office visit” practice pattern that favors patients with health concerns that are less complicated and time consuming to diagnose and treat. Patients with multi-system disease will find it increasingly difficult to access care, except in large HMO-type clinic settings with long waiting lines and limited care availability.
Obamacare does nothing to fix these problems. Instead, it forces all of us into a single-payor system in which care is determined by a set of rules created by bureaucrats based on phony statistics devised to justify ineligibility for care. Sadly, our medical care delivery system, once the finest in the world, will devolve into a two-tier system consisting of the elite and those deemed “valuable to society” who will have access to the best physicians and treatments available, while the rest of us must wait in line for limited access and rationed care.
That was the plan all along . . . Obamacare was created by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel who wrote “The Complete Lives System”, a scheme for denying healthcare to those who are no longer able to contribute to the collectivist utopia Emanuel envisions for our society. The new health care reality is “to provide socially sustainable, cost-effective care”, the results of which will be cruel rationing unless you are a member of the ruling class . . . After all, socialism is for the people, not the socialists.
For a preview of the direction Obamacare is taking the American health care system, one need look no further than the VA Hospital System. A recent Veterans Affairs internal audit found 57,436 newly enrolled veterans face a minimum 90-day wait for medical care, and 63,869 veterans who enrolled over the past decade requested an appointment that never happened. I can guarantee that Dr. Emanuel’s name will never be on the secret “do-not-call” waiting list . . . but ours will.
Dr. Dan’s guest on Freedom Forum Radio this weekend (June 14 – 15) is Dr. Gerard Gianoli. Discussions will include the American health care system and the Free Market, and Dr. Gianoli will share with us how and why he stopped working for the insurance companies and the government and started working for his patients.
Dr. Gianoli graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Engineering and subsequently matriculated from Tulane University’s Medical School in 1986. He did an internship in General Surgery and an internship in Pediatrics. Following a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Gianoli completed a fellowship In Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at the Michigan Ear Institute. Dr. Gianoli was a full-time Associate Professor at Tulane Medical School until July 2000 when he joined the Ear and Balance Institute. He still maintains a Clinical Associate Professor appointment at Tulane in both the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Gianoli has published and lectured extensively in the field of Neurotology and serves on multiple Editorial Review Boards for the fields of Neurotology and Otolaryngology. Dr. Gianoli is Board Certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Board Certified in Neurotology. He is one of less than 200 Board Certified Neurotologists in the country. Dr. Gianoli has consistently been named to the ranks of “America’s Top Doctors” (Castle Connolly Medical Limited) and “America’s Top Physicians” (Consumers’ Research Council of America).
Dr. Gianoli is a firm believer in Free Market medicine. In fact, for Dr. Gianoli, Free Market medicine is not just a dream, it is his reality. Dr. Gianoli’s practice accepts no insurance at all. Payment is by cash only – the free exchange of goods and services that characterizes free market economic principles.
Listen to PODCAST.
Great article. I HATE Obamacare. It has created a MESS for me. Thus far, I have lost THREE of my BEST doctors. One was of retirement age, but he said, “I’m just too old to deal with all that.” So he quit. This was my neurologist. The man was brilliant. He has helped me more then any of my other doctors. Yes, he was of retirement age, but still so “with it”. Just a shame to lose an exceptional doctor like him. I miss him.
I shared this article on facebook. Hope that was okay?
Thanks for sharing,
You have blood on your hands and I pray you don’t have a to suffer a fraction of the pain my family has due to privatized healthcare.
America, the country that let the free market run healthcare, is a perfect example of the failures of capitalism. Despite spending more than any other nation, and being the wealthiest nation on earth, the US healthcare system:
-is ranked one of the lowest, if not THE lowest among peer nations of similar economic development
-access to healthcare is provided based on a person’s ability to pay, not need
– healthcare decisions being made by insurance companies rather than doctors or patients
But hey, privatized healthcare in the US has made us #1 at:
-bankruptcies due to healthcare debt
-preventable deaths due to people not being able to afford healthcare
– American healthcare either being a punchline or a nightmare scenario to everyone outside the US
-being the only place on earth where when you or your family members get sick, the first thought is often ‘can i/we afford to get better?’ rather than ‘what do I have to do to get better?’
– having to travel to other countries just to get affordable care (heck rather than fixing our system, some free-market cultists even suggest buying medication or burdening other nations with our healthcare needs rather than building our own functioning, a universal healthcare system that serves ALL people, not just those with enough money to matter/live.
-organ transplant candidates who have to fundraise 10K to pay for their anti-rejection drugs before they are considered for an urgently needed organ transplant, despite having a donor. Luckily, organ donation isn’t run as a free-market system, and organs go to those who need them most, have been waiting the longest, and are most likely to survive: Unfortunately, the same is not true of the surgery required to transplant the organs.
– widows who weren’t at their partner’s bedside when he died because they were forced to spend every waking hour begging strangers for money for anti-rejection drugs and the portion of the surgery private insurance wouldn’t cover in hopes of saving his life
– support groups for people who lost loved ones due to the heartless cruelty of a healthcare system that regularly denies lifesaving care to people solely because they aren’t wealthy enough to pay
-capitalist bootlickers who delete/block/ignore/laugh at actual stories and comments from victims of the brutal, murderous economic system they adore
-children who must grow up not knowing their father due to privatized healthcare valuing profit over parent’s lives and children’s well-being.
But I suppose you’re willing to sacrifice as many people as is needed to persevere the ‘freedom’ of healthcare executives and big pharma to rake in huge profits and bonuses while tens of millions of Americans are underinsured or uninsured. Because capitalism values the comfort and profit of the wealthy over the lives of the poor, it values the ‘right’ of the landlord to own 5 homes more than the right of a family to have a home and will gladly -gleefully even- kick every family out on the street if it profits the powerful.
Because idiots think the wealthy being able to exploit them for profit and live in obscene luxury while millions suffer or even day for lack of the basics of survival makes them ‘free’.