Perhaps the most puzzling condemnation of universal coverage is the contention that “A mandate is not necessary as the free market will solve the problem”.
Proponents of the free market argue that the problem is today’s market is not “free”, but rather over-regulated. And once we completely de-regulate the insurance market, the Invisible Hand will produce products and services that will provide coverage for a lot more folks.
These folks conflate regulation with universal coverage.
The health insurance ‘market’ in the US is considerably less regulated than in, say Switzerland or Germany or Japan, where everyone is forced to have coverage. And all those countries have lower medical costs and provide coverage for everyone.
And customer satisfaction is higher too – “65% of French citizens express satisfaction with their system, compared with 40% of U.S. residents”
Based on that (admittedly very simplistic) rationale, it appears that the more regulation there is, the lower the costs and more folks covered.
I’d suggest that a solution that has lower costs and covers everyone with high customer satisfaction rates is better than one with higher costs and does not cover 15% of the population. We can argue waiting times and life expectancy and breast cancer screening rates, but the net is rather simple.
What am I missing here?