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COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN ACTIVIST POST

“Free Market Alternatives To Obamacare”

This is really tired old set of arguments made with no genuine understanding of markets.

Modern medicine is not, and can never be, a free market.

Just the fact that only doctors with certain accepted credentials can prescribe life-saving drugs or open a practice should tell someone who understands economics that there is no free market here.

American medicine is a complex patchwork of market restrictions, limits, and hidden subsidies, such as government funding of medical education, medical research, and even hospitals.

This article shows a childish understanding of the real economics.

What you have in American medicine, at best, is a complex set of things much resembling a very large international free trade agreement.

As any economist can tell you, free trade agreements are not truly free trade.

They are “managed trade” with all kinds of complexities and artificialities built in through difficult negotiations and made law by treaties.

Their rules and agreements can run thousands of pages.

Yes, you can just erase free trade agreements such as NAFTA, but even loose-lipped Trump isn’t doing that. He’s renegotiating details, looking to “improve” the treaty.

Just the same for America’s bizarre medical system, bizarre not just because of Obamacare but for dozens of reasons including various parallel systems such as the VA.

You could not, if you tried, come up with a more complex and heavy-handed system than America’s.

Obamacare’s flaws, which are plentiful, just reflect the same mentality as the rest of the system. Private insurance should not even have had a role. But try telling that to an American Congressman or Senator.

The VA and Medicare and other elaborate creations should have been folded into the same single national market with a common set of rules and a common administration. Such an administration would also have immense market power over important additional matters such as the price of drugs.

But most of America’s politicians cannot think that way. Lobbying and campaign contributions lock you into a ridiculously complicated and costly system, even without Obamacare.

Again, the insistence on ending a faulty system which nevertheless helps a good many people is not a sign of intelligence or sound policy.

Design an alternative, explain how it affects everyone, and then, maybe, replace Obamacare.

But there is not a hint of that happening, so you do look ridiculous just desperately trying to cut out the one portion of the total mess which bears the name of a disliked politician.

The best, most logical approach would prove undoubtedly to be a national single-payer, but I know that will not come in America anytime soon.

That kind of clear thinking totally eludes many Americans because they have lived with horrible messes all their lives and believe that to just the way things are meant to be.

They believe in what they have in much the same way they believe that the Pentagon is about “defense” or that the CIA is about information.

America’s system, with or without Obamacare, remains the worst, the most costly, and the least effective in terms of total outcomes of all the systems in all advanced countries.

It is literally the kind of confused thinking reflected in the article that gives Americans their ghastly medical system results.

The writer apparently believes that the famous kitsch painting “The Doctor,” 1891, actually reflects American medicine.

Good God, what nonsense.

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