The free market works great for a lot of things, including Pre-A Porsches. A willing seller, a willing buyer, the price set by the buyer's desire and ability to pay the seller's price, and no need (in this case no ability) for anyone to be able to "make one for less." 

It works well because nobody needs a Pre-A Porsche.

With insulin, we have a different situation

If the "free market" results in a concentration of power on the maker's side (monopoly), the owners can set whatever price they like. Pay it or die.

The "willing buyer" part of the equation goes away. A diabetic cannot wait months or years for some clever Indonesian start-up to fab a factory and begin producing cheap insulin pumps, then arrange a Bitcoin-based gray market distribution system for the US.

It's like this with a lot of medicine and medical care, which is why civilized countries instituted universal medical insurance systems (heavily regulated if not government controlled) decades ago. Every nation which has one—Canada and the UK very much included—has much better health outcomes than we enjoy in the US, and very little (if any) political controversy about it. 

I've long been mystified by the inability of market fundamentalists to understand the basics of an asymmetric market.

 

Socialized medicine brings quotas, wait lines and sometimes a refusal to provide a service due to age or other reasons as the health care practitioner is the gate keeper.

Free Market medicine, if you have the money you get done what you can afford and yes you can get great service too minus the wait lines. 

We feel like a consumer of health care, this means we make our own choices!  

In socialized medicine and in fact other styles as well the healthcare givers often do not share that opinion as the state tell them how to think. 

edsnova posted:

The free market works great for a lot of things, including Pre-A Porsches. A willing seller, a willing buyer, the price set by the buyer's desire and ability to pay the seller's price, and no need (in this case no ability) for anyone to be able to "make one for less." 

It works well because nobody needs a Pre-A Porsche.

With insulin, we have a different situation

If the "free market" results in a concentration of power on the maker's side (monopoly), the owners can set whatever price they like. Pay it or die.

The "willing buyer" part of the equation goes away. A diabetic cannot wait months or years for some clever Indonesian start-up to fab a factory and begin producing cheap insulin pumps, then arrange a Bitcoin-based gray market distribution system for the US.

It's like this with a lot of medicine and medical care, which is why civilized countries instituted universal medical insurance systems (heavily regulated if not government controlled) decades ago. Every nation which has one—Canada and the UK very much included—has much better health outcomes than we enjoy in the US, and very little (if any) political controversy about it. 

I've long been mystified by the inability of market fundamentalists to understand the basics of an asymmetric market.

 

Market fundamentalists understand that there are few to no asymmetric markets, especially in the connected world we now live in.  What socialists fail to address is that it is wrong to steal, especially by a mob, (vote).  Your insulin example is a perfect example of market forces.  Instead of only reading that which fits your paradigm, google, "cheapest insulin price".  Read about the wait times for specialized treatment in Canada.  Read about treatments that are refused to elderly people in Canada.  People may think they are gaining some type of security with government health care, (the more accurate term for universal medical insurance), but in truth, it is just one more loss of liberty.

I have never heard of elderly individuals being refused treatment in Canada.  My mother in law was receiving treatment up to age 99, both in necessary heart medicine and for joint replacement.  There may be wait times, but people don’t have to go bankrupt to get taken care of.  There are some private clinics, but not many, and all Canadians are covered for health care.

It is a sign of a good society when health care is provided to all. And we are not a Socialist nation, as some of you love to infer.  We just believe that health care is a necessity, not just a luxury for those who can afford it.

Sorry Bob, I spent my career in health care and I have personal knowledge that the facts are not exactly that way in all cases.  There are those who cannot get transplants due to age, will not get certain procedures again due to age and may be rejected for the latest treatment again due to age. If you were in the USA you could go out and buy it. 

Some choices are not given to you to select as a patient. Yes you are presented with choices but not all of them, for the above reason and  there is no list of treatment options at times published or available for the public to choose, the information is simply not readily available to the common man. The clinician is in control and becomes the judge of your quality of life and what you deserve in treatment.

If your experience is different, good for you but I have a different point of view obviously 

Well, I guess you can buy anything if you have the money...but not everyone does.

Yes, decisions have to be made, but if a treatment will benefit a patient, it will be offered.  There are lost causes where no treatment will be beneficial, so why waste resources in that.

Each individual case needs to be weighed on its merits, and decisions have to be made re: treatment that will not provide proper outcomes.

I will still take our system of health care. 

Some things are easy to say objectively from afar. 

A good question to ask a clinician is what would you do if it was your daughter, your mother etc 

The level of intervention you might want if you were in need or dealing with a serious health condition might change your opinion if you were put in that situation. Hopefully you will never need to make those choices

just saying 

It is interesting getting input from real Canadians (you guys are "real", right?)  on this stuff from Ray, Bob and Al.  I have heard and read so much absolute Bull-**** about how bad the Canadian/English/French/German/Dutch/Swedish (pick one or add your own) health care systems are compared to what we have in the US and I KNOW, from first-hand experience in France and Germany (and second hand input from Canada and the UK) that health care outside of the US is often as good or BETTER than what we are offered here, and I live within spitting distance of Boston with the best health care offerings in the world.  

I, personally, have needed surgical procedures while on business trips in France and Germany and I have nothing but great things to say about both systems AND their handling of insurance issues cross-border.  THEY initiated the insurance interaction and THEY resolved any issues and I ended up paying, at most, a $50 dollar co-pay for something I would have paid several thousands for (after insurance) were I still at home and I got excellent care.  I see that as a petty good deal from a so-called "socialist" health care system.  Maybe they're just a government that is trying to offer a better quality of life for their constituents?  

That whole "Socialist" thing has been thrown around a lot, lately (especially on Fox News, because it is their main bludgeon against the Democrats), and given a lot of bad rap without anyone actually challenging their position with people who "walk the walk" - actual people who live there.  Maybe this is our chance, right here on a so-called "Car Forum" to set the record straight with our Canadian friends.  Their health care is pretty damn good!  "Socialism" is a spectrum of ideologies transitioning from light government intrusion (think your local DMV) to government involved with just about everything.  There are an infinite number of degrees in that spectrum and it is up to the populace to decide where in that spectrum they wish to live. 

I live within a 60 minute car ride from Boston, a place offering the best health care in the World (like the Lahey or Mayo or Dana-Farber clinics and numerous research facilities), but that depends on whether your insurance will pay for a substantial part of it, or whether YOU can pay for all of it (and remember, we here in Massachusetts still have what the original "Obamacare" was based on, developed by a bi-partisan legislature, accepted by popular vote and signed into Massachusetts law by a Republican, Mitt Romney.  WE are living with the original "Obamacare" and loving it).  

We often hear of "miraculous" procedures done at Mass. General or Tufts or Brigham and Women's Hospitals for people brought in from war zones or refugees or whatever, and you know what?  A lot of those are done pro-bono by the entire surgical team because they wanted to do it, as reported on local news.  That is not socialism, that is compassion.

There is also a waiting list for a lot of advanced procedures and any and all of those procedures are extremely expensive.  Yes, many people from other countries come here to Massachusetts (or various satellite sites scattered around North America and Europe) not because it is cheaper, but because, for the time being, THIS is where the best talent is and no other reason.  When that talent leaves (and that might take a bit of time), people looking for it either follow it to other countries (Canada, UK, Mexico, India, etc) or hope that the replacement USA talent is up to the task.   

I have a friend since childhood currently going through Chemo for kidney and intestinal cancer.  The treatments are scheduled at three times per month (all she can stand, really).  The procedures cost $75,000 each month and their insurance, thankfully, picks up $60,000 of that.  Is that stealing $60,000 per month from other people who are contributing to the health insurance plan?  Or is that just how "insurance" is supposed to work?  Either way, they're still out $15K per month while living on retirement income - that hurts, for sure, and they're struggling, but they're making it, so far, but barely.  By the way, if they were in the UK (I have no experience with the Canadian Health Care System) they would be paying their usual visit co-pay of £10 pounds (about $15 bucks) and that's it and I know, from the experience of friends in the UK, that they would NOT be "waiting to get on a treatment list".  They would be attended to within a week, same as here.

BUT!  That extraordinary talent in Boston is realizing that they can return to their home countries (over 80% of the specialist talent in Massachusetts health care is NOT from America and they had to pay for their educations without benefit of student loans).  They can help a lot of their fellow countrymen and women to a better quality of life AND still make a better than average wage without all of the debilitating hassles of the American Health Care Insurance System, so they are beginning to leave in droves.  THAT is why the interval between diagnosis and treatment is beginning to stretch out in the US - Not because the technology isn't there, but because the talent behind the technology is leaving.

Think about that for a second.........   Will your local specialty centers be next?  I'm betting that they will be, because contributing more than 40% of a doctor's or specialists time to dealing with insurance issues just seems stupid, to me, and to them, too.

PS $15k per month is about three times the median US family income.

It's nice to be rich, no argument about that. In the USA, these days, being rich is a necessary prerequisite if one requires health care services. Some people, mainly the not-rich, think that could be a problem. "Socialism" fixes that problem, mainly, by enlarging the insurance pool as far as is possible. Doesn't "steal" anything from anyone.

You bet I'm for it. 

 

For all formulary approved medical procedures there is no cost in Canada except on your taxes.  The wait can be long depending on the procedure. 

Medications, and other health care devices are different.  Some are subsidized, with deductible and some are not. FYI, The deductibles for medications are usually pretty affordable and most often waived.

The best health care is the care you choose, not that which is chosen for you by someone else or a doctor who gets paid by the state, or the government, or policy.  I don't give a ____ who thinks their health care is best.  I do care about me being able to choose. 

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - usually attributed to Ben Franklin

"No single person, including the President of the United States, should ever be given the power to make a medical decision for potentially millions of Americans. Freedom over one's physical person is the most basic freedom of all, and people in a free society should be sovereign over their own bodies. When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies."  - Ron Paul

Todd M posted:

The best health care is the care you choose, not that which is chosen for you by someone else or a doctor who gets paid by the state, or the government, or policy.  I don't give a ____ who thinks their health care is best.  I do care about me being able to choose. 

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - usually attributed to Ben Franklin

"No single person, including the President of the United States, should ever be given the power to make a medical decision for potentially millions of Americans. Freedom over one's physical person is the most basic freedom of all, and people in a free society should be sovereign over their own bodies. When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies."  - Ron Paul

I am afraid as someone has said, that I would like to add MANY likes to this comment. 

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