When you have Free Enterprise or free markets, the quality goes up and the price goes down over time. Your Fitbit has more computing power than the computer on the Apollo 11 spacecraft and your Fitbit costs a lot less. Why? Free Enterprise. By contrast, the government-run air traffic control system used 1970s technology until just a few years ago when they updated the old technology rather than replace it with something up to date. The government has no competition and no incentive to get better.
What does all of this have to do with Healthcare? It is no different. Under a Free Enterprise competitive system, healthcare would get better and the cost would go down. Why hasn’t that happened? A lack of REAL Free Enterprise. Half of all healthcare is paid for by the government which uses price-fixing and price controls. Most of the rest is controlled by employer-run healthcare, which is sort of like a mini single-payer system. If everyone had to buy their own healthcare, they would shop around for the best deal. Doctors and hospitals and insurance companies would compete for your business. That does not happen now. If the government takes it all over it will be like the air traffic control system, out of date.
Politically, healthcare, like energy, is a source of power if you control it, you can dole it out to people who vote for you.
Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the U.S. from 1981-1989. This speech was in 1961 when he was an actor and political activist.
Milton Friedman was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history, and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy. With George Stigler and others, Friedman was among the intellectual leaders of the Chicago school of economics, a neoclassical school of economic thought associated with the work of the faculty at the University of Chicago that rejected Keynesianism in favor of monetarism until the mid-1970s, when it turned to new classical macroeconomics heavily based on the concept of rational expectations.
Milton Friedman looks for a market way to reform healthcare.