Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Free market fundamentalism
In this column Steven Chapman makes a typical libertarian argument against health care reform: interference with the free market is always bad. It is a quasi-religion to some people; their god is the market. But the market isn't working real well in health insurance. Many other companies are raising health insurance premiums, so it's simply not a matter of finding competitors in the marketplace. As I argued in a previous post, it's not that the insurance companies are evil; it's that the structure of the system is in need of reform. The current system leaves many people forced to buy insurance on the individual market, whose prices are skyrocketing. The solution is simple in theory: get every American into a common insurance pool. The premiums of the healthy and young will subsidize the sick and old. For a great analysis of the health care issue, see Healthcare Guaranteed by Ezekiel Emanuel. (Yes, the brother of Obama's chief of staff, but a much calmer thinker).