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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Hypothetical: A Health Care World Free Market


HolyHandgernade
08-20-2009, 03:04 PM
American care companies once thought they were the best, and then we allowed foreign competition, and more Americans began to choose the less expensive and more economical models, which eventually exposed the broken business pattern of the major American auto makers.

If the health care market was opened up to foreign competitors, do you think the current system would survive? be prefered?

What if England, France, Germany, etc., were allowed to offer the American consumer the opportunity to enter their health system? Suppose these systems could establish their own hospitals and clinics. There would be a one year probationary period to allow the consumer the opportunity to judge the system and for the consumer to prove economic vitality for the year. After that year, you were married to that system for the rest of your life. The cost was a percentage of your income that the country figured its citizens pay through taxes plus 1% for overhead costs ofoperating abroad. In return, after the year, no matter if you were unemployed or retired, you could receive health care for the rest of your life.

Which system do you think Americans would choose? If you go with the socialized option, you loose your ability to withdraw from the system. If you stay with the American system, you may not be able to afford it. Drugs would be less expensive under the social system, but choice may be limited between different brands. Would this expose the inefficiency and cost of the American system or would expose the social version as substandard care with long waits?

-HH

ClevelandBronco
08-20-2009, 03:09 PM
American care companies once thought they were the best, and then we allowed foreign competition, and more Americans began to choose the less expensive and more economical models, which eventually exposed the broken business pattern of the major American auto makers.

If the health care market was opened up to foreign competitors, do you think the current system would survive? be prefered?

What if England, France, Germany, etc., were allowed to offer the American consumer the opportunity to enter their health system? Suppose these systems could establish their own hospitals and clinics. There would be a one year probationary period to allow the consumer the opportunity to judge the system and for the consumer to prove economic vitality for the year. After that year, you were married to that system for the rest of your life. The cost was a percentage of your income that the country figured its citizens pay through taxes plus 1% for overhead costs ofoperating abroad. In return, after the year, no matter if you were unemployed or retired, you could receive health care for the rest of your life.

Which system do you think Americans would choose? If you go with the socialized option, you loose your ability to withdraw from the system. If you stay with the American system, you may not be able to afford it. Drugs would be less expensive under the social system, but choice may be limited between different brands. Would this expose the inefficiency and cost of the American system or would expose the social version as substandard care with long waits?

-HH

I have a friend who went to Mexico to get dental implants. Much cheaper down there.

My father- and mother-in-law get all their health care in Mexico, though they live in Texas.

There are programs that will fly you to India for certain health care procedures.

It's not a new idea.

On the other hand, certain treatments aren't available anywhere else on a reasonable schedule or at a reasonable level of safety.

HolyHandgernade
08-20-2009, 03:45 PM
Yes, but I'm not talking about having to take an international trip. I mean the market opens up so you could have the choice of being part of the American health care system as it stands, or going to the French clinic/hospital, or an American doctor who has contracted with the English social system. In other words, you don't have to leave the country to reap the beneifts of a different system. Do you think the American system could survive such competition?

-HH

ClevelandBronco
08-20-2009, 04:26 PM
Yes, but I'm not talking about having to take an international trip. I mean the market opens up so you could have the choice of being part of the American health care system as it stands, or going to the French clinic/hospital, or an American doctor who has contracted with the English social system. In other words, you don't have to leave the country to reap the beneifts of a different system. Do you think the American system could survive such competition?

-HH

Perhaps I'm missing your point. Would the U.S. citizen be "buying into" the foreign system by paying some kind of a tax or premium to become a member?

HolyHandgernade
08-20-2009, 07:21 PM
Perhaps I'm missing your point. Would the U.S. citizen be "buying into" the foreign system by paying some kind of a tax or premium to become a member?

Correct. The country's system would be an alternative to the present form of health care available here. The country would figure the percentage of tax that its citizens pay and charge you the same percentage of your income plus a 1% overhead cost for operating abroad. The consumer get a year to decide if they like the system and prove they can maintain economic vitality. If after the year you decide to join permenantly, it is just that. You can't quit them and they can't quit you.

-HH

banyon
08-20-2009, 07:27 PM
We could start by opening up competition just in our own country. While there are many health insurance companies, you only have a choice of 2 or 3 major ones in most states. They need to drop the illegality of purchasing out of state insurance.

KCTitus
08-20-2009, 07:29 PM
We could start by opening up competition just in our own country. While there are many health insurance companies, you only have a choice of 2 or 3 major ones in most states. They need to drop the illegality of purchasing out of state insurance.

Agreed...portability would go a LONG way to lowering the cost of insurance.

Tort reform is another. This has worked well in Texas as doctors are flocking to the state and health care costs are dropping.

State restrictions on what policies can be written should also be removed.

If it's really about choice...these are no brainers and cost the taxpayers zero dollars.

HolyHandgernade
08-20-2009, 08:52 PM
See, now that's positive discussion from the conservative side of things. Unfortunately, most change is slow exactly because it isn't pushed by something. If these things were brought up instead of screams of socialism and Nazis, I think we could find reform that improves the system that is entrenched now. It doesn't have to be a complete overhaul, but most things don't change until it is mandated that they do, either through legal incentive or penalty.

-HH

banyon
08-20-2009, 08:53 PM
Agreed...portability would go a LONG way to lowering the cost of insurance.

Tort reform is another. This has worked well in Texas as doctors are flocking to the state and health care costs are dropping.

State restrictions on what policies can be written should also be removed.

If it's really about choice...these are no brainers and cost the taxpayers zero dollars.

Most of what I have read on that is that the impact has been negligible. What did you see on that?

patteeu
08-21-2009, 08:10 AM
See, now that's positive discussion from the conservative side of things. Unfortunately, most change is slow exactly because it isn't pushed by something. If these things were brought up instead of screams of socialism and Nazis, I think we could find reform that improves the system that is entrenched now. It doesn't have to be a complete overhaul, but most things don't change until it is mandated that they do, either through legal incentive or penalty.

-HH

All of the levers of power in Washington DC are controlled by one party. The leaders of that party have NO APPETITE for solutions short of a complete overhaul.

As much as you might like everyone to sit down for tea and crumpets and calmly discuss all of the options we might have for addressing health care issues, that's a recipe for the success of the agenda being pushed by the single-minded radicals who control the government right now for the same reason that being satisfied with merely talking to Iran is a recipe for a nuclear Iran. It is only if the people in power have something to fear that they will have second thoughts about pushing their vision to realization. Angry voters give democrats much more to fear than calm, polite voters do. The intensity of the opposition is important.

patteeu
08-21-2009, 08:18 AM
Most of what I have read on that is that the impact has been negligible. What did you see on that?

I don't know what you've been reading, but tort reform in Texas is having a dramatic impact on the medical malpractice insurance component of health care costs.

Texas malpractice insurance rates dropping after Proposition 12 passage (http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2005/10/10/story8.html)
Austin Business Journal - by Jonathan Selden Austin Business Journal Staff

After years of blaming their skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance rates on a medical lawsuit crisis, Texas medical malpractice insurers are clamoring to reduce insurance premiums.

In recent months, the state's top medical malpractice insurance companies have trumped rate cuts. They're crediting the lower rates to Proposition 12, a constitutional amendment approved by Texas voters in September 2003. That amendment cemented the Legislature's decision that year to cap noneconomic medical malpractice damages at $250,000.

Texas Medical Liability Trust, the state's largest provider of medical malpractice insurance, says it will reduce rates for new policyholders by 5 percent starting Jan. 1, 2006, and pay an "unprecedented" $10 million in dividends to 2005 policyholders.

That's in addition to two previous rate cuts -- 12 percent in 2004 and 5 percent earlier this year -- that Texas Medical Liability Trust gave after the Legislature passed the tort-reform measure.

"Access to health care, and the malpractice environment in Texas has made a healthy recovery since the Texas Legislature passed medical liability reform," says Dennis Factor, chairman of the trust.

American Physicians Insurance Exchange announced a 13 percent rate decrease -- the second in just six months -- Aug. 16. The exchange gave 2,200 Texas doctors an average 5 percent cut in February.

Dr. Bob Gunby, a Dallas obstetrician-gynecologist who is president of the Austin-based Texas Medical Association, says he's seen his medical malpractice insurance premium drop from a high of $47,000 a year "when there was a peak in the crisis" to $33,000 now.

Although Gunby says he hasn't seen his rates drop recently, he's about to renew with his current insurer and is checking out companies that started offering coverage in Texas after the 2003 tort reforms took effect.

"I think, now, they've all come back just to compete," he says. "They're all rushing back in and trying to get the business."

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