Next week, my Political Science class is having a debate on the validity of an American system of socialized medicine. I was (thankfully) assigned to be against the idea, but I was hoping to get some suggestions for talking points and references from the Mises community so I can argue concisely for a free-market solution. Any help you can provide me will be greatly appreciated.
First thing you're likely to have to do is convince people that the current American system isn't a free market system, because most think it is. Seemingly easy ways to do that are to point out the government covers nearly 40% of all costs under single payer medicaid/medicare schemes, mandates coverages in many states, controls the supply of doctors through licensing, and controls the supply of drugs through the FDA approval process and RX privileges. It's not hard to come up with examples to show how far from free market the US system is. It is however hard to convince people who have been exposed to a lifetime of propoganda that it is indeed the case that the US system isn't private. The Cato institute has some good books and reports online detailing government interventions in Health Care. An example would be a CT law that requires insurance be extended to breast cancer survivors with no price discrimination. I'd also look into the Flexner report which is what lead to the nationalization of med schools in the US. Check out the HMO act as well, and wage and price freezes during WWII which lead to companies offering third party payment systems as a way to compete to get good employees. Once the IRS made those contributions tax exempt they basically killed out of pocket payment which is a very strict price controler on the market.
Next I'd pull the WHO report and tear it to shreds. First on it's judgement criteria. They literally give single payer systems a higher score for being single payer, and then say that this proves single payer systems are better. They blatantly beg the question in their own report. Second, I'd pull criticism of the rest of the report and read up. The US has the best survival rates for many cancers and other illnesses, and when you correct for non health care related deaths also has one of the longest lifespans. This report will likely be one of the primary weapons of your opponents in the debate. It's easily trashed so be sure you can do it.
Third, I'd point out the performance of the market in relatively unregulated markets like computers, which are just as technically complex and demanding on capital infrastructure, to design and manufacture chips and what not, as medical care, and yet some how magically produce affordable products. And, I'd tie this in with the somewhat more free sections of medicine that still exist, such as dietery supplements and plastic surgery, all of which are ridiculously affordable when compared to other medicines and medical treatments precisely because the government has less to do with them.
Here are two Mises Daily articles which may be of interest:
Please do let us know how you got on!
Base model cars of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but quarter-mile races.
you should take a look at these:
When choosing any product, e.g.medicine, you have three variables working upon your choice - price, quality, and timeliness.
You can get a lower price product if you are willing to forego some quality and/or timeliness. You can get a higher quality product if you are willing to pay more and/or wait longer. You can get a product instantly if you are willing to spend more and/or take a hit in quality.
Socialized medicine proposes to provide top quality medicine for everyone at any time with lower costs. How do you spell immpossible?
We are the soldiers for righteousnessAnd we are not sent here by the politicians you drink with - L. Dube, rip
This will definitely help. (This is the third time this week I've recommended this article. But it's a classic, and heroic to boot.)
Market anarchist, Linux geek, aspiring Perl hacker, and student of the neo-Aristotelians, the classical individualist anarchists, and the Austrian school.
you gave this to me awhile back, I second this article
The ablitity to gain healthcare is based on 2 things. Cost, and Availiblity. Instead of forming a socialized healthcare system, privatized healthcare that is dolled out for free by a volenteer comunity is more suited for the occasion. To socialize the healthcare is to limit the avialibility of good healthcare, and increase the availibility of sup-par health care, because the "market" will be flooded with mediocre doctors, seeing that all of the good ones (save a few) will most likely either A) resort to teaching, or B) leave the country. Also, to keep the cost low, the quality of healthcare would falter, so that the strain on the tax dollers would not be two great.
I hope that offers some insight
In the debate you will hear 2 of these fallacious 'arguments'
Free Market health care means that a doctor can essentially hold you ransom, and rip you off for a broken leg. Like a $20,000 bill for a broken leg.
Refute this argument (its an insane argument for many reasons) with: Thats fraud, similar to blackmail, and fradualent firms can be dealt with in court. it begs a system of private property.
Second fallacious argument they will make: "But insurance companies profit (horrors) from people being sick, or risk of health ailments" "But we can cut out the middle man!, and lower costs!"
Point out, that private insurance is a great manifestation of the market. Private insurance, if left unfettered, serves a function of offsetting costs for people who think they may need accidents. Private insurance can also be tailored to any person of any income level, think of auto insurance. Insurance does not act as a middle man, if it is a middle man, so is a bank when they loan you money for a car. Its an insane argument. Then why don't we cut out the middle man in every other part of the economy! It lowers overhead right? Shit we can produce everything here in America, and cut out all the overhead from transporting goods over oceans! Argumentum absurdum. Explain to them that the market works toward equilibrium, to deal with scarcity. Free markets, in health care, insurance, prescription drugs etc., want to lower prices
And you will need to ask these rank amatuer students. So what the hell do you propose? A single payer system? You'll be suprised. Most of them don't even know how a single payer system works.
You need to show that you understand how the market works, better than they understand how bureacracy works.
do we get free cheezeburger in socielism?