Tagline for the American Health Care System

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I don’t think any system of economics – communism, socialism, national socialism, nor capitalism – can provide the solutions we need to make a remarkable health care system.

It’s nice to think that a Big Government solution is the answer, but such a system brings the risk of nightmarish bureaucracy. Not necessarily, but likely.

It’s also nice to think that a Free Market health care economy would eventually bring balance to the force.

Both extremes bring with them considerable ethical drawbacks. Big government tends to impose politically-generated policies. Free markets tend to generate externalities and are often unable to address conflicts of interest and natural oligopolies and monopolies.


A new kind of economic thinking will be required if we are to solve the health care problems facing our country. I wish there were simple solutions.

Currently our system seems to exhibit the worst aspects of both socialism and capitalism.

What I think we need is an economic system that encourages incentive-based innovation and marketing while preserving the integrity needed for ethical solutions to social disparities.

In light of the Trillions of dollars we are spending to bailout industries run by fiduciary sociopaths, it’s heartbreaking to think what we could have done with those funds for health care. A re-haul of infrastructure; incentives for nurses and primary physicians; investments in remarkable and innovative technologies. Socialist or Capitalist, Liberal or Conservative: how cheated do you feel right now?

Perhaps we will need to seek out more localized, collaborative efforts to protect our health. Perhaps there are Long Tail solutions to some of the Short Head problems. Health care is America’s Achilles heal. Time is running out. Are you enraged? Do you know the time value of your health? That might be a start for you. You have more power than you know.


So I offer, for simplicity, a tagline for our current system. Remember this meme the next time you’re hospitalized and dealing with both the inanity of government regulations and free market mediocrity:

Screw the poor and disappoint the rich.

– Tagline of the American Health Care System

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  1. I don't work in healthcare. I'm a US citizen, but I was born in Canada (where they have a single-payer system, not socialized medicine), so I guess I think about this a little different.

    Again, I would respect the opinion of people who advocate for a free market system if they were consistent. If people think healthcare should be left to a free market, then why not firecare?

    What's the difference, really? The firehouse would still put out the fire, in the same manner that people without insurance can go to an ER if their life is threatened. Same with police. A free market system wouldn't mean police don't save you if you're being mugged, you just need insurance to pay.

    So, that's my retort to people who advocate for a free market. Get your employee sponsored fire and police insurance as well.

    I know that's not your argument, but it irks me when I read people talk about “free market” and healthcare. It's crap.

  2. Matt,

    Fair enough, you make an excellent point. Perhaps my articulation was

    What I'm getting at is this. Every economic system has within it certain
    features that are desirable. They also have feature's that aren't. Socialism
    has the potential to re-allocate resources in a way that is more equitable
    for all. The downside to socialism is that there's no guarantee that the
    right people who hold the power have the required depth of knowledge and
    understanding of how things work best.

    Meanwhile, capitalism (meaning a culture of investing in the long-term as
    opposed to an undisciplined approach) holds the promise of enabling the free
    exchange of ideas without the political impositions associated with

    I believe both systems confer benefits to society. To simply disregard the
    benefits and costs of one system over the other appears superficial (to me
    at least).

    BTW: All military institutions are socialist (I've never cut a check to the
    DOD, but my taxes have funded it). The analogy to healthcare is useful

    Do you work in the health care system? Just curious.

    Thank you very much for you commentary. You've given me some good thoughts.


  3. The language is wrong. We don't call the system of Firefighters and policemen socialism, if we had to call it something, we would call it a single payer system of fire and security protection.

    It's strange that we live in a country whereby if someone deliberately sets my house on fire, the fire department will put it out for free, the police will investigate it for free, but the ambulance and doctors will charge me boatloads of money to fix me.

    And for some reason, we're afraid of the last one, while we accept the first two. So I say this: be consistent: if you want to call single payer health care socialism, then call the firefighters and police socialism as well.

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