Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Myth of the Free-Market American Health Care System

What the rest of the world can teach conservatives -- and all Americans -- about socialism, health care, and the path toward more affordable insurance

Yesterday, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry posted a stimulating comparison between the American and French health-care systems. "From my outlook," he writes, "there's something that I haven't seen discussed and yet seems striking to me: how similar the French and U.S. healthcare systems are. On its face, this seems like a preposterous notion: whenever the two are mentioned together, it's to say that they're polar opposites."

Indeed, there are a lot of misconceptions about how America's health-care system compares to those of the other developed countries, including France. Both liberals and conservatives believe that the American system is a "free-market" or "capitalistic" one, and that European systems providing universal coverage are "socialized." In this article, I'll explain where both of these conceptions go wrong.


In reality, per-capita state-sponsored health expenditures in the United States are the third-highest in the world, only below Norway and Luxembourg. And this is before our new health law kicks in. (The U.S. appears second in the chart because we only have 2008 data for the Luxembourgers): Read more......

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