Add to that the additional millions who receive
This is the health care system that we have chosen for 75 years; we need to stop pretending that somehow we could now choose to have health care without government involvement. We also need to stop pretending that market forces and competition will improve American health care delivery. None of the prerequisites of market economics holds true for health care. Patients are not shoppers because they lack clinical knowledge (no caveat emptor) and are sick and injured, therefore not free to decide whether, where and what clinical services are needed. Sellers of health services are not supposed to act in their own self interest, but should put the patients' needs first. Positive externality refers to a situation when someone other than the buyer or seller in a market has a legitimate interest in the outcome of a transaction, such as is the case when the general public has an interest in assuring the best care for a patient with a communicable disease. We have massive infusions of tax dollars into health systems because of positive externalities.
Finally, the inverse relationship between price and demand does not hold for health services. No one ever bought an appendectomy because it was on sale. And no diabetic willingly forgoes insulin even if the price skyrockets. Demand for health services is determined by epidemiology, not price. Health care is not a market commodity; the invisible hand of Adam Smith will never save us from our health care woes.
I agree with the
I urge all voters to carefully inquire of their congressional candidates whether they will seek enactment of the State-Based Universal Health Care Act.