Health care for the public
August 07, 2015
In her letter printed on Saturday, Nan Dubin made a very important point. Ms. Dubin wrote that it is time to remove profit-making incentives (specifically profit-making insurance companies) from health care. I absolutely agree. In a civil, democratic society, there are quite a few services that we agree to supply as a community for the community. These services, such as health care, should be managed as government services for the benefit of all. There is a prevailing myth that private enterprise will do the job better than government. This must be challenged.
Some would argue that, in general, private enterprise will be more efficient and less corrupt than government. This assumption is so wrong as to be laughable. Private corporations are rife with inefficiencies and corruption. Where they differ from government agencies is that they are much less accountable to the people. If government delivers services badly we can make a big noise and things can be changed. If a private corporation delivers services badly we’re stuck. Inefficiency and corruption are constant companions to human endeavors. We must acknowledge that and design systems that are transparent. We must constantly monitor and manage for the best outcomes possible in an imperfect world.