Mary Ruwart on Why Health Care Costs Are So High

Mary Ruwart has a Ph.D in biophysics, taught surgery at St. Louis University Medical School and was a pharmaceutical research scientist for Upjohn.   Sounds like she probably knows something about health care which the vast majority of US Senators and Congressmembers do not.

She also nearly won the 2008 Libertarian Presidential nomination only losing to Bob Barr on the 6th ballot.  I voted for her on all 6.

She recently published this article explaining why health care costs are so high and she had a few suggestions for what should be done about it.   She’s famous for her clear explanations of difficult subjects so you should read the whole article, but here are her suggestions:

1. Allowing individuals, as well as businesses, full tax credits/deductions for medical insurance and/or medical expenditures. In the interim, encourage the use of HSAs by increasing the amount of tax-deductible contributions (currently $3000) that a person can make each year.

2. Ending insurance mandates that states impose. As an interim measure, allow insurance sales across state lines so that consumers can choose the insurance plan that best fits their needs, rather than be limited to what state legislatures allow.

3. Making doctors and their insurers liable only for actual negligence and malpractice. In the interim, caps on non-economic damages, such as those in California and Texas, lower insurance costs, but may prevent victims of actual malpractice from being appropriately compensated.

4. Ending the regulation of medical professionals and employing a system of voluntary certification instead. Studies show that certification increases the amount of quality care delivered, especially to the poor. Since practitioners are usually certified on the basis of competence, rather than on politically-correct regulations, their number and quality increases, while prices decrease.

5. Ending FDA regulation of pharmaceuticals and employing a system of third-party certification instead. The FDA doesn’t test any drugs, but simply looks over the data provided by manufacturers. Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL), which certifies electrical appliances, actually tests the products that bear its “Seal of Approval.” Such third-party testing is an excellent model for drug certification.

Prior to the time that government became the largest buyer of health care there was no health care crisis.   This is yet another disaster caused by big government.   The government broke it.  The free market is the only way to fix it.

4 thoughts on “Mary Ruwart on Why Health Care Costs Are So High”

  1. Pingback: To Supporters of Health Care Bill: Don’t Drag Us Into Your Disaster « Serf City

  2. Let’s imagine that we could reduce regulation to zero. Merck and GSK wouldn’t have to do any testing on any new drug, but they’d still have to operate their companies profitably, search for new compounds that have at least an internally derived sense of efficacy and low probability of killer side-effects (unless no regulations = no product liability lawsuits, either) and then get those drugs into the hands of physicians. So a SWAG might be 50% lower costs. But that’s a 50% reduction on only one part of health care. You still need to pay doctors, do tests, run hospitals, feed patients, etc. etc. etc.

  3. If Mary Ruwart receives the Libertarian Party nomination, voters will have that choice. Mary Ruwart is a longtime libertarian activist and writer. Her views on hundreds of issues have been published over the years on the Liberator Online. And her book, Healing Our World, is available free online. It explains the principles of liberty clearly and concisely.

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