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The central national healthcare problem — and fixes

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Hooman Noorchashm writes in The Philadelphia Inquirer that neither party  “is acknowledging the real problem”:
“The reality is that the price of healthcare and healthcare products is artificially exorbitant. That’s driving our health insurance investments into bankruptcy and destabilizing the rest of our economy.” And that’s because:

“Price setting in healthcare is being done independently of the time-tested principles that govern free market systems – because the process is almost entirely missing the consumer’s voice.”

“Pharmaceutical and medical-device companies hold near total monopolies over many life-saving drugs and devices. Protectionist patent laws let them set prices and profit enormously for long periods of time. As if this isn’t enough, federal legal protections shield most these products from consumer complaints in civil court when problems arise.”

“This type of protectionism has created a direct conduit into our health-insurance investments without any real intervention from free-market controls.”

“So in a setting where free-market principles are being violated, insuring more people expands the opportunity to extract money out of our health insurance investments. That  is the fatal danger lurking in the ACA.”

“The only solution is to adhere to free market principles. Three logical targets for legislation are: 1) limiting or eliminating monopolies on drugs and medical devices by encouraging real competition to lower prices, 2) limiting long-term patent rights on life-saving products, and 3) allowing consumers full access to our court system, so that meaningful market feedback can be provided to corporations and healthcare establishments.”


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