- Jan 26, 2016
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Other developed nations have public insurance and even a lot of government-run hospitals and a lot more regulations on healthcare plans and pricing. So they would be even more expensive than US care because there is more government.
As you may know, the costs of healthcare are going up faster than GDP. Healthcare in the US is getting rather expensive these days.
Supporters of universal healthcare typically say that since healthcare is a basic necessity, prices do not affect demand because without it, people will die. The economic term for how much demand changes relative to price is price elasticity. To their credit, healthcare is an inelastic good (demand changes more slowly than price), but on the other hand, it isn't the only one.
Other examples of inelastic goods are gasoline, clothing, recreational drugs (including tobacco), and to some extent, food and water. And yet, we don't see companies price gouge on gasoline, clothing, food, or water. Now maybe one could make the case that water utilities are heavily regulated or are owned by municipal governments and most recreational drugs are illegal but what about the others?
Although the cost of food has gone up in the last generation or so, it didn't do so by nearly as much as healthcare. When food (or drinks) get close to expiration date, they go on sale. In fact, sometimes when they're not close to expiration date, they go on sale. Clothing likewise is not being price gouged.
Oil is considered an inelastic good because it's necessary to power our cars. Sure, electric cars exist, but the market is only in its infancy. But despite the importance of oil, prices aren't constantly on the rise, even with growing demand. Rather, they fluctuate, even though most oil reserves are in OPEC countries.
So why don't the markets of other inelastic markets see a great amount of price gouging? The answer is competition. If Safeway charges too much for groceries, shoppers will simply look elsewhere. If one gas station charges too much for gasoline, people will go to other gas stations. The markets for clothing likewise don't price gouge because there is competition. Thes markets are inelastic, if the price rises by a lot, there will still be a great deal of demand for them. An inelastic market will be able to maintain fairly small prices so long as there is competition. Thus it is worth asking why we don't see the same in healthcare.
It would perhaps be fallacious to say that healthcare in the US is expensive purely because of the free market because it is one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the US economy.
If this Forbes article is to be trusted, the US government is limiting the number of physicians per year, causing a shortage and thus raising the cost of medical care due to lobbying on the part of the AMA. The government has also restricted the establishment of medical schools. Foreign doctors have to redo their residencies, regardless of how long they have been practicing, to legally practice in the US.
The Evil-Mongering Of The American Medical Association
Another problem is prescription drug medication. Thanks to patents, prescription drug companies have the license to price gouge their consumers without fear of competition. Some argue that the patent system guerantees that drug manufacturers will make a profit after developing the drug. The problem with this notion is that the big prescription drug companies spend more money on marketing than on R&D.
Which brings me onto my next point. The FDA puts a long and burdensome process on getting drugs approved. While it may be with best of intentions, it has effectively prevented many would be useful drugs from coming onto the market. Big pharmaceutical companies have little trouble complying with these regulations but smaller companies are effectively crowded out.
the government doesn't go an amazing job but it does do a good enough job but it can give us an ok product at an ok price.
some private markets are so bad at controlling costs and providing affordable services to the population that we need government services and regulation of the private market to make it affordable and save for most people.
our public schools are the most expensive in the world and about lowest quality in civilized world. 1+1=2
do you have an example of this or just pretending???
we know from many examples that govt monopoly( USSR Europe Cuba East Germany Formosa, Hong Kong, Red China, etc etc) that standard of living will be about 40% of capitalist standard of living.
So it is possible to make a decent public education system, maybe we just haven't made our public system right..
Private healthcare is healthcare that is provided and funded through private businesses and payments rather than government-run programs and taxes. The US is an example of a system that is private.
The US is an example of a system that is private.
Hard to imagine more govt than USA has in health care. Europe is poor and has a very efficient form of socialism so their prices are lower.
why? private hospitals get to charge Medicare prices too!! 1+1=2
If the government as so bad at keeping prices down, then Medicare and Medicaid should be so full of red tape and so inefficient that it should be a lot more expensive than private insurance.
so now you're pretending to be insane?? Actually Medicare Medcaid, VA Schip TRIcare, IMS, Community Clinics, intra state competition are far from private Republican capitalism. Liberals lack the IQ to understand Republican capitalism so we don't have it and pay 5 times what we should.
If you look at wages in Europe, they are lower than in the US, but not that much lower, and in some countries,
don't be a silly goof. Democrats made private competition illegal in US health care in 1946 with McCarren Furguson. A private business that cant compete is not a private capitalist business. Do you understand now???