As Barack Obama and the Democrats attempt to remake the American health-care system into the European model, a European economist warns the US that they have fundamentally misunderstood the lessons of EuroCare. Universal coverage is not the same thing as universal care, Elina van den Broek instructs, and that the only equality we can expect is equally long wait times and equally unresponsive providers. The Center for Freedom and Prosperity offers this as part of its continuing series on the high cost and damaging distortions that come with heavy government interventions:
Ms. van den Broek makes the same point here that I have made all year. We actually have a model of low-cost, high-availability health care in our system right now, and not coincidentally, it’s the markets without third-party payers: cosmetic surgery and Lasik. Providers compete to keep prices low, consumers pay out of their own pockets without interference from governments or employers, and as a result we have rational pricing and a plethora of providers. If we wanted reform that lowered cost and improved accessibility, we should be pursuing the lessons of the markets that actually produce those results, rather than models which result in the exact opposite.