Nov 022007
Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series         Next in series

I’ve written about the supposed “Health Care Crisis” here in America before. But given the Democratic presidential candidate’s continual pounding on the issue I figured I’d take this opportunity to try and nip the fear in the bud. Dr. Ron Paul (yes, the presidential candidate) wrote a July 24, 2007 article giving an even better example of how health care can (and currently is) provided in the free market with absolutely no interference from the government whatsoever-

Last week the congressional Joint Economic committee on which I serve held a hearing featuring two courageous medical doctors. I had the pleasure of meeting with one of the witnesses, Dr. Robert Berry, who opened a low-cost health clinic in rural Tennessee. His clinic does not accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, which allows Dr. Berry to treat patients without interference from third-party government bureaucrats or HMO administrators.


Freed from HMO and government bureaucracy, Dr. Berry can focus on medicine rather than billing. Operating on a cash basis lowers his overhead considerably, allowing him to charge much lower prices than other doctors. He often charges just $35 for routine maladies, which is not much more than one’s insurance co-pay in other offices. His affordable prices enable low-income patients to see him before minor problems become serious, and unlike most doctors, Dr. Berry sees patients the same day on a walk-in basis. Yet beyond his low prices and quick appointments, Dr. Berry provides patients with excellent medical care.

While many liberals talk endlessly about medical care for the poor, Dr. Berry actually helps uninsured people every day. His patients are largely low-income working people, who cannot afford health insurance but don’t necessarily qualify for state assistance. Some of his uninsured patients have been forced to visit hospital emergency rooms for non-emergency treatment because no doctor would see them. Others disliked the long waits and inferior treatment they endured at government clinics. For many of his patients, Dr. Berry’s clinic has been a godsend.

According to the World Health Organization

U.S. government programs accounted for over 44% of health care expenditures, making the U.S. government the largest insurer in the nation. Per capita spending on health care by the U.S. government placed it among the top ten highest spenders among United Nations member countries in 2004.

In other words, the government is already the largest ‘consumer’ of health care in the United States. The United States health care system was the envy of the world for many, many years. But then in 1973 the federal government mandated that employers offer HMO coverage to their employees. This was when the trend reversed and we started down the road to the situation that we have today: people that cannot afford insurance (for whatever reason) can no longer afford any health care. That’s the primary complaint of the people today, and the root of the so-called crisis. Why would we as a society turn to the very same organization that created the problem in order to solve it?

Both Dr. Berry and Dr. Parkinson from my previous post are examples of how removing the government from the health care system lowers costs and increases benefits to the consumer. Government spending has led only to worse care and higher costs, just as government interference in any industry does. People are convinced that we need the government to solve these problems, but with a little thought you should see that the exact opposite is true.

Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series        Next in series

  5 Responses to “Applied Anarchy – Free Market Health Care”

  1. […] Commodity Trader | Futures Market Guide wrote an interesting post today on Applied Anarchy – Free Market Health CareHere’s a quick excerptHis patients are largely low-income working people, who cannot afford health insurance but don’t necessarily qualify for state assistance. […]

  2. You aren’t thinking like a true anarchist here.

    The main problem is government licensing requirements of doctors. Until the State stops restricting the supply of doctors, any effort to address price or demand is pointless.

    Research the effect of government restricting the supply of doctors. Examine how the health care system worked 100 years ago, before the State restricted the supply of doctors. Do some background research and post again.

  3. An interesting theory, FSK, can you point me towards any documentation to show that the demand for doctors is actually driving up proces? According to the Medical Group Management Association, Physician Compensation and Production Report, 2003 a family doctor only makes around $150,000 per year. It doesn’t sound like there’s a huge demand for more doctors if their pay has remained relatively low over the years.

    I tihnk physicians like Dr. Barry and Dr. Parkinson have shown that it’s the government red tape that drives up health care costs more than anything else. An estimated 25% to 45% (depending on whose numbers you believe) of health care spending goes into administrative overhead (aka paperwork). More doctors won’t lessen this problem.

  4. Interesting post. I am a Regional Sales Director for AmeriPlan, a discount dental and medical plan company. Our company is into consumer driven healthcare, and our providers accept greatly discounted prices because they don’t have to deal with forms, the insurance companies and HMOs, and patients are cash paying customers. In addition all ongoing conditions are accepted, and alternative medicine providers are included in our database.

  5. Welcome Helene! I’ve run across AmeriPlan a few times and must say it’s an intriguing concept. If I understand things correctly it’s essentially an MLM medical group. A great example of how the marketplace will find a way to cut costs despite government regulation.

  6. […] presents Applied Anarchy – Free Market Health Care : Philaahzophy posted at Philaahzophy, saying, “I’ve written about the supposed “Health Care Crisis” […]

  7. […] least, I suppose that could be inferred by the fact that my Applied Anarchy – Free Market Health Care article was included in the Carnival Of Political Punditry over at the I’m A Pundit Too […]

  8. […] Applied Anarchy – Free Market Health Care […]

  9. The definitions of the various types of health care vary depending on the different cultural, political, organizational and disciplinary perspectives, there appears to be some consensus that primary care constitutes the first element of a continuing health care process, that may also include the provision of secondary and tertiary levels of care. Thanks.

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