Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mark Lange:

GENERATING efficiency in the health-care market will be one of President Obama’s greatest challenges. To do this, he will have to create meaningful competition between drug companies, and between public and private plans. Congress’s attempt at market-driven health care offers good instruction in what not to do.

Simple Question: Since when has government "created meaningful competition" in anything? Government action and meaningful competition are all but mutually contradictory ideas. The whole problem with our current healthcare system, and the very reason we don't have meaningful competition, is excessive government action and regulation.

Consider, for example, those specialties where so-called health "insurance" and government programs, like medicare and medicaid, play only a minor role--e.g., plastic surgery, optometry, veterinary care, dentistry. In these specialties, where we have actual competition, prices have been comparatively stable. Breast enhancement surgery doesn't cost much more today than it did 20 years ago. Many physicians offer LASIK surgery for about a third of what they charged 10 years ago. The cost of basic dental services has increased far less than healthcare expenses in general over the last 20 years.

Where we have less government and less so-called "insurance" (really just prepaid healthcare), we have more competition and stable prices.

Respectfully, Mr. Lange's proposed solutions will do very little to enhance competition and reduce costs for the simple reason that they rely on additional government "demands" and "mandates", the exact opposite of what it needed.

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