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How The Government Created Free Market Health Care

Jese Leos
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Published in Mother Of Invention: How The Government Created Free Market Health Care
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In recent years, the rising costs and limited access to quality healthcare have become major concerns for individuals and governments alike. While some argue that a fully government-run healthcare system is the solution, others argue for a free market approach. Surprisingly, the current state of free market health care was, in fact, created by government policies and regulations.

Before delving into how the government shaped the free market health care system we have today, it's essential to understand the initial role of the government in the healthcare sector. Historically, healthcare was primarily a private matter, with individuals relying on their own resources to access medical services. There were no standardized regulations, and health care providers operated independently.

However, changes started taking place in the early 20th century as people recognized the need for government intervention to ensure access to affordable and quality healthcare for all citizens, particularly the vulnerable populations. This led to the establishment of several government programs and regulations that ultimately laid the foundation for the free market health care system we have today.

Mother of Invention: How the Government Created Free Market Health Care
Mother of Invention: How the Government Created "Free-Market" Health Care
by Robert I. Field(1st Edition, Kindle Edition)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 1586 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 335 pages
Lending : Enabled

The Creation of Medicare and Medicaid

In 1965, the United States government introduced the Medicare and Medicaid programs as part of the Social Security Act. Medicare was designed to provide healthcare coverage for the elderly population, while Medicaid aimed to assist low-income individuals and families. These programs established the government as a significant player in the healthcare industry, guaranteeing access to medical services for millions of Americans.

By providing healthcare coverage to specific groups, the government indirectly stimulated the demand for medical services. This led to an increase in the number of healthcare providers and the growth of the private health insurance industry. The government's involvement in financing healthcare services created a market ripe for competition, ultimately giving rise to the free market health care system we have today.

The Role of Regulations and Standards

Government intervention also played a crucial role in setting regulations and standards for the healthcare industry. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA),for example, was established to ensure the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. This regulatory body is responsible for approving new drugs and monitoring their manufacturing and labeling processes.

Additionally, organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work to control and prevent the spread of diseases, improving overall public health. These regulations and standards promote transparency and accountability in the healthcare industry, making it safer for consumers.

Competition and Innovation

One of the key drivers of a free market health care system is the presence of competition among healthcare providers. Government policies such as the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act of 1973 promoted this competition by encouraging the establishment of managed care organizations. These organizations competed to offer quality healthcare services at affordable prices.

In turn, this competition led to an increased focus on efficiency and innovation within the healthcare sector. Providers were incentivized to find new ways to deliver better care while minimizing costs. This resulted in advancements such as telemedicine, electronic health records, and other technologies that improved the overall patient experience.

The Affordable Care Act and its Impact

In 2010, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought significant changes to the healthcare landscape. The ACA aimed to increase accessibility to health insurance through the creation of state-based exchanges, where individuals and small businesses could compare and purchase insurance plans. It also expanded Medicaid coverage to include more low-income individuals and families.

While the ACA aimed to bring more people into the healthcare system, it also introduced new regulations and requirements for insurance providers. This included mandatory coverage of pre-existing conditions, essential health benefits, and the individual mandate. These requirements, although criticized by some, were aimed at improving the overall quality of healthcare services and ensuring fair treatment for all consumers.

Contrary to popular belief, the evolution of the free market health care system was not solely the result of market forces. The government has played a significant role in creating and shaping the current healthcare landscape by implementing policies, regulations, and programs that ensured access, affordability, and quality in healthcare services.

The establishment of programs like Medicare and Medicaid, the of regulations and standards, and the promotion of competition and innovation all contributed to the creation of a free market health care system. While the debate about the best approach to healthcare continues, it is undeniable that government interventions have played a crucial role in cultivating the current state of free market health care.

Mother of Invention: How the Government Created Free Market Health Care
Mother of Invention: How the Government Created "Free-Market" Health Care
by Robert I. Field(1st Edition, Kindle Edition)

5 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 1586 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 335 pages
Lending : Enabled

By relying on private enterprise more than any other developed nation, American health care has all the appearances of the free-market in action. And for more than a hundred years, attempts to reform this system (including President Obama's Affordable Care Act) have been met with opposition from parties warning against the stifling effect of government intervention.

What these warnings about federal intrusion overlook is the fact that the federal government has long been an indispensable player in guiding and supporting the current US health care system. Its role is so pervasive and of such longstanding importance that it is easy to overlook, but it actually created American health care as we know it today.

Seminal public programs stand behind every segment of America's massive and hugely profitable health care industry. This is not to deny the instrumental roles of private entrepreneurship and innovation, but rather to describe the foundation on which they rest. The industry's underlying driving force is a massive partnership between the public and private spheres. The partnership is complex, and its effects are not always ideal. But for better or worse, it shapes every aspect of what we in the United States know as health care.

Mother of Invention traces the government's role in building four key health care sectors into the financial powerhouses they are today: pharmaceuticals, hospitals, the medical profession, and private insurance. It traces their history, surveys their growth, and highlights some of their greatest success stories, which together reveal the indispensable role of public initiatives in contemporary private health care.

Only by understanding what actually drives our system can we appreciate possibilities for meaningful reform or comprehend the true context--historically and politically--of the Obama plan.

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