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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Be Happy, Be Healty

While desperately searching the World Wide Web for an article to use for my blog entry, I came across an article entitled, Senate passes children’s health insurance bill, bush vows to veto (cnn.com). I found this to be quite disturbing. Why would the president of the united states, not want the number of insured children to increase by 4 million? Yet, as I continued to read, the article stated that this increase would only benefit high-income families who all ready have private insurance, and shut out those that are poor. The original intent of the bill was to “give parents who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance coverage for their children (cnn.com),” as stated by bush, and other republicans. The funds from this potential increase would come from and increase in taxes on tobacco. Which to some is seen as redistributing income from poor smokers to states with the highest per-capita incomes.
I believe that health care should be universal, and that all individuals, no matter your income, should have the same opportunities as the next person. The health care industry, which can be seen as a market where doctors exchange services with patients, is subject to the same scrutiny as other economic markets. The government is obligated to step in when markets have failed. Their sole mission is to promote efficiency. The question is how. If by infringing on the benefits of some they are better able to help others they have messed up. Only when all parties in question are equally benefited from these actions can their interference be considered a success. So a tax on smokers to benefit children, though morally doesn’t sound that bad, economically is inefficient. If the government could come together and devise a plan that would be helpful to all parties involved, it would be headed in the right direction. Yet, even if it could and not all children where benefited, it would still be seen as a failure economically. The health care market is not one that I believe can be left to it on devises like the Coase Theorem suggested. Health care needs to be regulated by some out side force. But that outside force needs to get it together.

You suggest the health care market should be regulated by some outside source. I'm not sure you explain what your normative grounds are for such a suggestion. Perhaps you find the health care market is characterized by inefficiency? Do you think the health care market is characterized by externalities? Public goods? Monopoly?
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