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My view: A free market can't solve healthcare

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  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:18 a.m.

    Superb analysis. Absolutely right.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:54 a.m.

    Representative King is right, but our problem is really at a more fundamental level. In capitalism we persist in seeing labor as a commodity. Labor is made up of people who don't own capital for the most part, and who survive by selling their sweat. A commodity is something which when rendered obsolete or worn out is simply cast aside or scrapped. This is what awaits labor, i.e. human beings. In our masses, if the Ayn Rand followers get their way, we will be left to die when medical care could have allowed us to last longer. We are biological beings, not machinery.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:09 a.m.

    Until we take politics out of the healthcare debate and actually analyze the problem, our solutions will fall short.

    Look at any hospital bill and try to make sense out of the charges. It is not possible to connect service with the associated costs.

    An astute businessman, unconnected to politics or the industry itself could make huge improvements.

    We have a problem that will bankrupt our country. And yet, we are still more concerned with politics and profits than fixing it.

    And no one really wants to fix it.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:18 a.m.

    Ya got to sign it to know what it said. Too bad none of the elected read it first.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:31 a.m.

    We have the most free market oriented healthcare system in the world. We also have the most expensive and there is no one running a close second. The difference is no explained by quality. More of the same (free market forces) will not solve the issue.

    Is the ACA the answer? Single payer? Something else? I don't know. But doubling down on market forces does not seem to be a wise way to go. We need to look at what has been successful elsewhere.

  • Chad S Lorton, VA
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    It is NOT the responsibility of the market to make goods and services affordable. And it is NOT the responsibility of the government to subsidize the difference.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    Obama and the Demos like to make us believe they are concerned about the uninsured in America saying our healthcare is broken. Depending on who you believe there are about 30 million uninsured persons in America and about half of them are healthy, younger people who have chosen NOT to have health insurance. That's less than 5% of the population who can't afford healthcare insurance and thus the totally manufactured crisis of the uninsured. For 5% we trashed the entire otherwise very good healthcare system that 95% of Americans enjoyed and traded it for Obamacare? Obamacare was never about healthcare, it was entirely about control and it was done with lies, deceptions and force. It will be interesting to see how American voters will respond to the Demos in 2016 elections.

  • John Kateel Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    Prior to the passage of the ACA we did not a free market, we had healthcare feudalism. Those folks toiling under a benevolent owner may be allowed the benefit of "health care" at his or her discretion. The ACA breaks that employment lock. Those lucky folks working for large operations never really knew what premiums cost, because they never purchased it themselves. Now they do as they should! Now that healthcare is an actual right and not analogous to a "tip" one would courteously leave a good waitress, things are tilting more to a real market. If everyone has health insurance through some avenue, then maybe now hospitals would no longer be the only business where by law they must offer free services ( stabilization care) for those who can't or do not want to pay. If I were running a business and had to write off free stuff, I would value the free stuff at maximum accounting value thus driving up on paper costs. The new risk pool is no longer as large as your employer. It is now 313 million Americans big. Larger pool, lower premiums. Also less public health hazards now from untreated infectious disease.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    "Those proposing to repeal and replace Obamacare must either admit they are content with current or higher numbers of individuals..."

    No, prior to ObamaCare being shoved through congress, there were about a dozen principles that could have passed both houses with almost a consensus. Rep. Chaffetz talked about them in his town halls, others did as well.

    Unlike the Utah legislature, where the Republicans and Democratic members often work on a consensus, even if one side has the votes, Congress hasn't done that.

    Yes ObamaCare should be repealed and replaced. I am not saying replaced with nothing, I am saying we should do what we should have done to start with. Take the list that almost everyone agrees needs fixing, such as Pre-Existing Conditions, competition across state lines, limits of liability, etc.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Agreed.

    A well thought out, Well reasoned opinion piece.

    The Free Market, consisting of For-Profit Insurance middlemen created the cost over runs and problems surfacing in the ACA.

    The only way to fix it now is a SINGLE-PAYER non-profit (Government) run system.
    Just like the rest of the Free World.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    Great column.

    The socialization of health insurance presents a serious problem for some defenders of Capitalism, because the free market for insurance, free of any regulation, tends strongly toward brutal, unsympathetic Darwinism, survival of the fittest. People with family histories of various diseases would be monetarily punished and strongly dis-incentivized from reproducing.

    The dilemma is most people in America have a moral framework that guides them, for the majority, Christianity. Jesus would never go for the brutal Darwinism that Capitalism naturally cultivates, and when it comes to healthcare, the brutality is magnified.

    But it doesn't have to be this way. Just as nobody flinches on the topic of using tax money to provide education for the children of poor people, there are strong proponents of Free Enterprise having an exception in their general philosophy, for healthcare.

    A recent article on the CEOs of successful Canadian companies reveals very strong proponents of Capitalism who are mystified that the US is struggling so much with this issue. To them, healthcare for all is a common sense economic issue, just like educating children.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Excellent piece. Over the years several Republicans have proposed various "free market" based solutions to our healthcare problems. Every single one of these solutions featured mandates for everyone to carry insurance. Go back and look at Richard Nixon's National Health Program of 1974 to see one of the first examples. Look at our own Senator's Bennet-Wyden plan for another.

    Finally look at the Heritage Foundation plan from the early nineties for another. That plan is the basis for the ACA, and also for Romneycare. Republicans supported these ideas up until the day that President Obama proposed them. It was only then that they became Socialism, Communism, and Fascism all rolled into one.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Clear and inescapable argument. The free market works well when demand is elastic. I can choose to buy a Honda or a Rolls Royce. But my health is "inelastic"--I can't choose if I have a genetic condition or an accident or if I get old. And even if I could choose, I would never choose the "low-cost provider" to handle my glaucoma.

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Nothing new here, but an excellent summary of why the market simply does not work for health care. I'll be interested to see what specific ideas the market defenders out there come up with to refute the basic fact given in this editorial.

    The only sensible solution, if we really want to get costs under control and cover all citizens is to follow the lead of all other industrialized countries (and many Third World nations as well) and institute a single-payer system. The easiest and most sensible route would simply be to expand Medicare to cover everyone. Medicare has been successful for decades, and senior citizens would be upset if we tried to take it away and replace it with some sort of market-based system. All we need to do is fund it properly, which would cost far less than the hodge-podge system we have been living with for many years now.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    After reading this letter from Rep. King and noting the various very good descriptions of the workings of insurance theory within a free market, I was surprised to read his final sentence, "The natural laws of markets and insurance can’t be ignored."

    Forcing people to buy/provide something they don't want/need is simply the socialist's (a slightly less aggressive Communist) way of ignoring/denying "The natural laws of markets and insurance..."

    Ultimately, those natural forces will ALWAYS prevail. Which is precisely why they should never be ignored.

    In the case of Obamacare, as I predicted it's initial stumbling/fumbling start, I predict now that it will eventually, inevitably fail, catastrophically....and all because of the natural laws that its implementation ignores/denies.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Health is not a commodity. And it cannot be insured. Good article.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    "Look at any hospital bill and try to make sense out of the charges. It is not possible to connect service with the associated costs."

    Bingo!

    When our son had surgery a couple of years ago, we never even saw an itemized hospital bill. The hospital charges were $40k (for 4 hrs in the hospital-operating and recovery rooms only). We ended up paying $200 and our insurance paid $10k.

    Among the most profitable industries in the U.S. are pharmaceutical and medical equipment makers.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Once again, Mr. King hits it out of the park!

    Bravo!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    "It is NOT the responsibility of the market to make goods and services affordable."

    Which is why it's the responsibility of the government!

    Goods and services are commodities. Health care is a right, just like free speech and the right to vote. It is the responsibility and obligation of the government to provide health care.

    Sorry folks, free market had its chance! Just like it had its chance to provide us clean water, security, fire protection, etc. But it failed miserably. Time for the government to step in! The free market can go back to selling cars and popcorn. Serious issues like police and health care needs to be run by the government.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    Mountainman,

    Tell me what happens when that 22 year old has an accident, or gets cancer.
    Who pays?

    "It will be interesting to see how American voters will respond to the Demos in 2016 elections."

    Americans have a low opinion of the Democrats in Congress. It it gets much lower, they could catch the Republicans in Congress.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    What a misleading letter to the editor. Who caused "health insurance" to be part of our lives? It was FDR, who told us that we couldn't be paid what we were worth, but that we would be paid what HE thought we were worth. Health Insurance was added to the "pay package" of most businesses to get around FDR's wage freeze. He wanted to control us, just as Obama wants to control us with ObamaCare

    Why does health care in America cost so much? How many doctors and hospitals run a battery of tests every time we need health care? How many doctors repeat tests that our last doctor just ran? Who champions malpractice law suits. Hint: it isn't the Republicans. The Republicans have tried to get tort reform laws passed for decades, but the Democrats block every such attempt.

    Prices cannot be controlled by the government. Whenever the government gets involved, costs multiply. Just look at ObamaCare as the latest example. Obama promised us that costs would go down $2,500 per family per year. They have risen much more than $2,500 per year and our out-of-pocket expenses have multiplied.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    This argument is only partially about healthcare costs. It is also a constitutional issue. If government can mandate that you have health insurance, then where do government mandates stop. SCOTUS ruled that ACA was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Our CJ then switched and said, the penalty in ACA was really a tax and Congress has a right to levy taxes. That is about as mixed up as one can get.

    When ACA was passed, then Speaker Pelosi said let's pass it and then we will figure out what it says. Now we know, it is a mess. ACA (aka Obamacare) should be repealed. Other options should be more deeply investigated. I believe we are unnecessarily eroding our rights under the Constitution.

    "Nor should it ever be lost sight of, that the government of the United States is one of limited and enumerated powers; and that a departure from the true import and sense of its powers is, pro tanto, the establishment of a new constitution." (from Commentaries on the Constitution)

    Unfortunately, the three Federal Government Branches that are supposed to protect them, are not doing so. (The 9th Amendment reserves my rights not specified in Article 1)

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    Over half of bankruptcies in the US are over medical expenses, this isn't the case in the other industrialized nations with universal healthcare. Oh, and polling shows only 80% liked their healthcare and liking your healthcare is different than liking your health insurance.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    As others have pointed out the ACA contains many solutions that were originally promoted by Republicans so the charge that it is a socialist takeover of healthcare is ludicrous.

    And anyone who believes that the problem of the uninsured is relatively small is living in fantasyland. The problem was growing every year for precisely the reasons this article cites (i.e., insurance underwriting).

    But our mostly free market healthcare system was not just failing the uninsured, it was failing all of us as well by taking an ever larger share of our income (at least three times the rate of inflation), and all the free market solutions in the world would not alter this trend more than marginally. This is the primary reason why no developed country in the world has a purely free market system.

    As for the uninsured, our uniquely American problem (although we share it with much of the third world) exposes the far-right’s true colors - they simply do not care if millions of our fellow citizens cannot get healthcare (premium subsidized Emergency Room care notwithstanding).

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    Mike, Mike, Mike. Facts really don't mean anything to you do they. Health insurance was around long before FDR and is widespread in many countries that FDR never had anything to do with. And you roll out that old malpractice line? Study after study has demonstrated that malpractice adds no more than, at most, 2% to the cost of our health insurance. Most studies put it at less than 1%.

    Besides, I thought you were a conservative and believed in basic principles of accountability. Does it preserve personal responsibility to let negligent doctors off the hook? Does tort reform increase the likelihood that your doctor will be meeting the standards of care in his or her practice? Does immunizing the doctor or limiting their degree of accountability make it more or less likely they will be conscientious and diligent? My friend you are mighty confused about how human beings function when they are insulated from being personally responsible and accountable for their own actions.

    You need to get beyond the point where ideology or political affiliations trump all.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    @Mike Richards - your version of how we ended up with employer based health insurance is a grotesque distortion of actual history.

    During World War Two, ten percent of Americans served in the military; the war effort required every bit of economic output we could generate. The resulting shortages of goods and labor would have unleashed runaway inflation that would have destabilized the domestic economy and undermined the war effort. The Roosevelt administration and the War Department instituted rationing, price controls and wage controls to minimize inflation during the war. Employers had to compete for employees by offering more generous benefits than other employers. It wasn't about "controlling" people. It was about winning the war.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 10, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    re:samhill
    "Forcing people to buy/provide something they don't want/need"

    How many people will never need or want healthcare?

    Perhaps Republicans should work on a bill that requires proof of ability to pay before medical care can be rendered. Then their policies will match their principals.

    Another alternative:
    States may devise their own universal healthcare plans--why aren't Republican controlled states doing that?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 10, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    re:MikeRichards

    States have the ability to enact their own tort reform--and several have.

    Why are Republicans looking toward the federal govt. instead of state govt.to address tort reform?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 10, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    Unlike several posters have written, the Constitution does not give the Federal Government any authority at any time to limit wages in the private sector. That "right" is reserved to the States or to the people. FDR violated the Constitution, but that fact doesn't bother those who claimed that situational ethics were more important than the supreme law of the land.

    They still claim that situational ethics trumps law. Their claim that law suits add less than 2% to health care costs are as unbelievable as Obama's claim that our premiums would go down $2,500 per family per year. In my case, two years ago, over 90% of insurance payments were for tests, half of which were redundant, but the two doctors that treated me insisted that THEIR insurance carrier required them to perform all tests to protect THEM against any possible malpractice claim. It didn't mater that the results of the duplicate test ALWAYS validated the initial test.

    Law suits cross State boundaries, therefore the proper place to address tort reform is in Congress. Congress can legislate Interstate Commerce, including tort reform.

    Get government out of the insurance business.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:07 p.m.

    I would love for the opportunity to deny those who refused to get insurance the right to die. That's fine with me! Don't want or think you need insurance! K! Fine! Just don't come crying to me when that accident or health problem happens!

    The problem is many repubs don't feel like they need or want health insurance. However, they're the first ones who run to receive handouts when that accident happens.

  • Mick Stupp Happy Valley, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    Mountanman and Joe Blow,

    Let me give you an example. My oldest son, a young healthy adult who is in the group who probably thinks it doesn't need insurance, broke his neck in a freak accident far from home. He required a $32,000 life flight to Salt Lake City and very expensive care to stabilize his neck. Fortunately, he healed fine. And fortunately, he was still on my health insurance, so he was not destroyed financially.

    But change a couple of facts, and you can see the results of not requiring young healthy people to carry some sort of coverage (or not implementing a rational health-care system, like other countries). If he had not been insured, or if the accident had left him a quadriplegic, imagine his life now.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    Very telling, not one person has refuted anything Mr. King has said! Not one!

    Typical of the right, they equate everything to Socialism and attempt to mudsling Mr. King.

    Not one person has refuted anything he has said. Not one person has revealed a possible replacement for Obamacare.

    Not one.

    Very telling indeed.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    @Mike Richards - Situational ethics is a system of Christian ethics which argues that agape is the primary value and that it is permissible to set aside laws and rules if your actions serve the cause of agape love. However, if you want a Constitutional argument for wartime wage and price controls, the commerce clause is sufficient (since almost by definition the wartime economy was entirely based on interstate commerce).

    At a more basic level, your argument about what is and is not allowed by the Constitution is only one view and not necessarily the correct one. The Framers understood the need for pragmatism and flexibility which is why the document itself is so basic. Rather than try to predict every circumstance, they drafted a bare bones document and left it to succeeding generations to make our best judgments based on the needs and challenges of our era. The Constitutional innovations of the last century have largely been in the realm of policy and practice but they have been measured against the Constitution and generally been upheld, which suggests your much more limited view of federal power is outside the mainstream.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    Today Obama says, "A free market can't solve the problem". During the campaign "Sep 20, 2012 - Obama: I'm not part of the problem in DC, but I'm not the solution either ... that he can't fix Washington from the inside because Republicans are meanies".

    Seems like there's NO WAY to fix the problem (inside government or outside). Is that the message we are to get today? Just give up?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Mr. King could have skipped a bunch of circular logic by simply stating that he prefers equality over liberty. That's what his argument boils down to. He admits that the free market produces great products and services at low prices, but he rejects it, because he has a utopian dream of universal coverage. So we all must suffer the same poor quality and unaffordable prices together. No matter. With him, it's equality that counts.

    On the topic of basic needs: food and shelter are as basic as health care. The free market produces them in great abundance. Health care would work similarly, if we stopped killing it with over-regulation.

    @Tyler D "all the free market solutions in the world would not alter this trend more than marginally."

    Tell us who made the experiment. Surely not us. Our current health-care system hardly resembles a free market.

    "...the ACA contains many solutions that were originally promoted by Republicans..."

    A bad idea is bad, no matter who thought it up. This one is bad.

    "...they simply do not care..."

    Nonsense. The fact is, free markets are better at fulfilling human needs than socialism ever can be.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    Re: "Very telling, not one person has refuted anything Mr. King has said! Not one!"

    Actually, REALITY has smacked mindless liberal vote-buyers right in the kisser.

    Reality is, there are problems that, not only can't be solved by the marketplace, they can't be solved by government, no matter how bloated, inefficient, and ineffective liberals make them. There just isn't enough money to redistribute and make us all rich.

    Work habits, ignorance, health problems, and just pure, dumb luck will always produce more poor than the rest of us can eliminate. And, honestly, when you get bureaucrats and politicians involved, they don't really try to eliminate poverty, just buy poor votes.

    But, the free market has provided more people a route to work their way out of poverty than ALL government programs put together.

    It's an immutable fact.

    If liberals really cared for the poor, they'd do what is most likely to actually help them, not just what seems most likely to buy their vote.

    That they refuse to really help illustrates what they really want.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Nov. 12, 2013 2:36 a.m.

    The "Free Market" Healthcare system was the broken down, you are denied, pre-existing condition too bad for you, you can't get healthcare system we've had for 100 years that failed.

    Is Obamacare the answer, no.
    It was the negotiated Republican plan to keep the Insurance Industry in business.

    When we have a Government run, Single payer system, the problems with Obamacare will go away.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Nov. 12, 2013 2:47 a.m.

    @Nate

    "So we all must suffer the same poor quality and unaffordable prices together."

    I live in a country with universal healthcare and my family and I have experienced excellent care for far less than what I paid when living in the States.

    "we stopped killing it with over-regulation."

    US healthcare is the least regulated in the first world yet spends twice as much per person with the leading cause of bankruptcy caused by medical bills.

    The free market is great when I go shopping for food or buying a new car. It is not so good when I have arterial blood squirting from my arm or when I am lying unconcious after being knocked off my bike by a car. You dont call around different hospitals trying to find the best deal in those situations. You dont have a lot of choice at that moment and you cant really negotiate with the "if you do not agree to this bill, you will die" at the hospital either.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    @UT Brit

    Then you're one of the lucky ones. Britain's cancer survival rate is extremely low when compared with other nations. Tens of thousands of malnutrition cases are reported in NHS hospitals annually. Hundreds of thousands are on waiting lists for routine procedures such as hip replacements. Britain is famous for hospital bed shortages, causing people to wait for days to be admitted. Health care is rationed by government panels. Patients in NHS hospitals are 45 percent more likely to die than in US hospitals. Over 1200 disabled patients die in NHS hospitals per year.

    NHS is practically synonymous with "nightmare."

    Yes, you really have it good over there.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    @Nate – “Tell us who made the experiment. Surely not us. Our current health-care system hardly resembles a free market.”

    How about every developed country in the world that at some point in their development realized their free market healthcare system wasn’t working?

    Doesn’t it strike you as odd that no developed country in the world has a free market healthcare system anymore (while most maintain vibrant free market economies in most other industries)?

    Do you think the reason for that is because they are all run by evil socialists (election after election) who somehow constrain their nefarious urges when it comes to most other markets?

    Something about that worldview just doesn’t add up…

    But it sounds like you are in favor of a Randian experiment in our country with no evidence of success (other than in books promoting ideology) found anywhere in the world.
    And while your red herring about free markets being better than socialism (duh) is a nice talking point, it fails to recognize that the market for healthcare is not like the market for toasters.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    @Nate

    The NHS is not perfect but for the vast majority of the people it serves us well. There would be riots if the government tried to scrap it. I dont know a single person that would want a US style healthcare system. As for the 45% thing, actually do some research rather than reading headlines, you will find a different story.
    I have never seen anyone from a government panel when seeing my doctor.

    Lets look at America then shall we, 45,000 people dead each year from lack of healthcare. Lowest life expectancy in the first world, highest infant mortality, double the cost compared to the first world, leader in bankruptcy. Insurance panels denying care (genuine death panels), 40 million uninsured who rely on ER for care (I have never waited so long in an ER than when I lived in the US). On top of all that you have the majority of your country begging for some sort of change........... I will keep the NHS thanks. Tried the US but my experience with it was disastrous.

  • Samson01 S. Jordan, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    This is where we differ... " Health care is a right,"...

    I absolutely disagree with this sentiment. Health care is a service.

    We cannot equalize our genetic inheritance. Some will die young, others will develop conditions, etc... I personal did not win the genetic lottery. I, however, do not feel the need to make society pay for my misfortune.

    This is why we cannot have a reasonable discussion on healthcare. There are even more fundamental needs such as food, shelter, and water. None of these are rights either.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 12, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    Wow, the liberal sheeple are out in force today. Reading the original article I could tell that it was not written by somebody who knows anything about history or even the history of health insurance over the past 30 years.

    First of all, the free market can solve the problems with healthcare. A prime example of this is the high deductible catastrophic policies that were introduced a few years ago. Insurers knew that younger people were typically healthy and did not require much care, however they did know that the more intelligent people would want catastrophic insurance to cover them when they fell from a 30 ft cliff while rock climbing. Another great example that we had was the Grocery Store Clinics. For $25 to $50 a person could see a medical professional for routine care visits. This brought healthcare to the poor that couldn't afford insurance to cover basic care.

    Lets compare that to what Government healthcare has given us. We have wait lists that kill people, medication lists that deny some people the best care, rationed care, and poor care of those that are seriously ill.

    Tell us again why we should let the government fix this problem?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    @Redshirt 1701 -- So what's the free market response to pre-existing conditions? Die?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 12, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    To "Wonder" no, the free market solution to pre-existing conditions has been to have waiting periods of up to 9 months. After the 9 months, they cover your pre-existing conditions and take care of your needs.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:55 p.m.

    @Redshirt 1701:

    Representative Brian King ia a lawyer whose practice is focused on health insurance claims. He represents individuals who have been denied coverage for treatment and health care providers who have not been paid by insurance companies. He has been in practice for more than 25 years and has presented widely at professional conferences on topics related to health insurance.

    His perspective may be different than yours, but to say that he doesn't know anything about the history of health insurance is simply false.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:58 p.m.

    @Tyler D "How about every developed country in the world that at some point in their development realized their free market healthcare system wasn't working?"

    They didn't abandon the free market because it wasn't working -- they abandoned it because they had the mistaken idea that socialism would produce greater equality. Now they're stuck with a rotten system. They don't dare scrap it, because they know the socialists will riot. (Brit admits this.) However, they'll be forced eventually to reckon with debt.

    As Margaret Thatcher said, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

    The other trouble with it is that it produces crummy health care.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 13, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    To "micawber" that is a different matter than pre-existing conditions. That is uninsurable conditions. Pre-existing conditions is a very generic term. It could be something as simple as a broken arm that is healing.

    The high risk pools were created in 1996 to cover those that are deemed uninsurable on the individual market. The question is how long have we needed the high risk pools? Prior to 1996 did insurance companies accept high risk people?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    To redshirt1701.

    Your post is unclear to me. Mr. King's practice deals with all types of health care denials, including claims relating to pre-existing conditions. He has been practicing since before 1996. He has expertise in this area. Do you?

    And yes, health insurance companies were denying coverage for pre-existing conditions well before 1996.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Nov. 13, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    @Nate – “They didn't abandon the free market because it wasn't working -- they abandoned it because they had the mistaken idea that socialism would produce greater equality.”

    Really? Every one? Every single developed country in the world? Every… single… one?

    This degree of collective & persistent stupidity would be unprecedented in world history. To abandon a perfectly good system because so many people place equality at the top (with everything else a distant second) of their values list would be utterly shocking.

    And if it was just a few countries like Sweden your answer might be plausible, but to posit that answer across all the different ethnicities, cultures, etc… seems a stretch to say the least.

    No Nate, I think cost had something to do with it as well – namely, the fact that the economics of healthcare are such that producers have intractable monopolistic pricing power which left to their own means serving an ever decreasing number of people at higher & higher costs.

    It’s for both of these reasons (yours & mine) that no one has a free market healthcare system.

  • Trust Logic Brigham City, UT, 00
    Nov. 13, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    I liked Rep. King's article. He brings up a lot of great points.

    Reading the article and comments, I see one of the challenges to this debate is not in agreeing on a solution, but on the problem! Rep. King defines what he sees as the crisis of Health Care. But, not everyone agrees with that perspective of the problem.

    First of all, is health care a right? My opinion, absolutely no! But, similar to public education, it is beneficial to society that the government provide it at a basic level to those who cannot obtain it. The challenge with this is that like education and other benefits, it becomes an entitlement (a perceived individual right) and quickly gets out of control. So, my question: if government should provide some health care, what are it's limits and how are they maintained?

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    This last legislative session I had the privilege of listening to Representative King on many occasions. That experience and this article both drive home the same thing: Representative King is a Voice of Reason. I wish the citizens of this state would awake to their awful situation and elect more logical and reasonable men and women, like Rep. King, to local and federal offices. We can solve our local problems and national problems through electing sound politicians who actually get it. Keep up the good work Representative King and press on!

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    @ Nate, Socialistic healthcare does not produce crummy healthcare. On what basis do you make this claim? I refer you to google...type in the words" healthcare by country" and select the second article by Bloomberg. In the USA we have horrid healthcare results. From the article cited above: "Among advanced economies, the U.S. spends the most on health care on a relative cost basis with the worst outcome". Nate, using a completely free market based approach to healthcare makes for crummy healthcare.

  • golsen7 Bonneville, ID
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    Bad premise for this analysis.

    We don’t have a free market health care system. In a free market when supply is low then demand and cost is high. Because demand and salary is high more people enter the field causing supply to be high and demand to be lower.

    We need more doctors, nurses and hospitals to help drive the costs down. It is about supply and demand. Hospital corporations don't want to see more doctors and nurses and hospitals in the system, it would drive profits down.

    Something is keeping the supply down so the profits can be high. That is not a free market.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    @Tyler D "This degree of collective & persistent stupidity would be unprecedented in world history."

    You said it.

    And yes, it is shocking. This is why I oppose it.

    @Commodore "In the USA we have horrid healthcare results."

    And in the USA health care is regulated more than any other industry. Coincidence?