We have a friend who regularly blames the free market for the state of health care, and he believes that it should be regulated by government to suppress the corruptive greed factor that has made the system the way it is. He is partially right. Greed is at the heart of the problems, but we have to part ways regarding the solution. Funneling even more of our scarce money to the most corrupt members of our society by force of law is hardly going to quell their unethical behaviors or greed. It will only embolden them to pillage us worse. What has happened, and will happen with the new health care bill is a testament to the fact that we really ought to be careful what we wish for.
The Power of Free Markets
A free market is not what we have. Free markets are not elitist systems with modern age aristocracies that are designed to keep the masses sick, dumbed-down, and 'in their place'. A free market is one in which people are rewarded for their labors and innovations; regardless of whether individuals have come from special families, or secret societies. A free market is approximately the opposite of what we currently have, and the elitist nature of the health care bill is a perfect example. (ie. 90% of Americans do not want it, and yet it is law -- for the moment).
The Internet has finally given rise to knowledge of better health alternatives, for they cannot control the Internet -- yet. Thus, they had to find methods to force all of us to pay into their broken system of experimental chemicals for disease management, under the system's own terms, regardless of whether we wish to be a part of it, or not. There is nothing 'free' about it, and it is a con-job of epic proportions. Nothing has changed within this broken system, which embraced financial blood-letting long ago, except that all of us are about to be forced into subsidizing it; regardless of our health, and regardless of whatever superior options that we would rather vote for with our dollars. By governmental mandate, our money will be spent to keep things exactly as they are.
If the market were even remotely free, then at least some of our money could be used for superior alternatives (virtually all alternatives are), and regular people could opt-out (not just the Amish, the Congress, and the Indians). The elites know that if insurance paid for superior alternatives, then their broken, disease-inflicting, pharmo-chemical industry would be dead in less than a generation; so instead, we are all forced to subsidize it. It is not just subsidizing the richest people of the aristocracy either, who intentionally made things the way that they are; but it is furthermore subsidizing an industry of chemical warfare against its own people, and anyone who has studied the pharmaceutical industry long enough knows that this is as true as the Gospel, for curing is bad for business. They will never cure us of anything. They merely guide us deeper into 'the system', and then they ensure that the illnesses that their own products inevitably worsen make us their drug addicts for the rest of our lives. Take, for example, Bayer's cure for morphine addictions, which was their biggest seller in history. It was called Heroin.
"The FDA protects the big drug companies, and is subsequently rewarded, and using the government's police powers, they attack those who threaten the big drug companies. People think that the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing, and what the public thinks it is doing are as different as night and day."
-- Dr. Herbert Ley, Former Commissioner of the U.S. F.D.A.
With the failures of Obamacare, it is sometimes easy to forget that the healthcare crisis in America did not begin with the Obama administration. Rising health costs were a major issue in the 2008 election. Ironically, Obama was the only candidate who pledged that he would never force people to buy private insurance. Alas, people seem to forget the fact that Americans have not had a truly free market in healthcare for over a century. Not only do we have massive amounts of regulation, which limits competition to only a handful of conglomerates, in what is essentially a cartel, but everything is also unpriced. Whenever we go into a hospital, we have no idea about what we are going to be charged until we receive the bill. In many cases, a hospital that is only a few miles in another direction is half the cost for the same procedure. For a free market in healthcare to ever work, pricing must foremost be up-front and viewable by all people. Right now, hospitals and clinics do not even compete on price, because they know that their patients are blind to the rates of their competitors. If they were to publicize both the rates of their medical facilities and also the percentage of times that they have "complications", then people would be informed enough to make good decisions and medical prices would naturally drop to unseen levels. The benefits of a free market are exactly what the new laws and the regulations are designed to prevent. In a truly free market, healthcare would become cheap and effective for all of us. Unfortunately, the medical industry is broken by design.