From the administration of President Obama to incumbent President Biden, the American healthcare system has consistently taken a wrong turn. We have become more bloated, more inefficient, and less patient-centric, with an exorbitant price tag to boot. Instead of a patient-focused free-market system, we have been plagued by a cartel-like symbiosis of healthcare providers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical corporations, all seeking their own financial windfall to the detriment of Americans who desperately need accessible, high-quality healthcare.

Just look at how, under Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the average health insurance premium for single coverage increased by almost 123% from 2008 to 2017. Fast forward to Biden’s administration: the cost of healthcare has not only not been reigned in, but it seems to be growing on steroids with average insurance premiums skyrocketing and drug prices soaring.

Although reform is desperately needed, the United States has unfortunately veered towards even greater government involvement, ignoring the functional and efficient examples of Democratic countries that operate predominantly on free-market healthcare systems.

Take Switzerland, for instance. This country, rarely mentioned in the passionate debates on healthcare reform, uses a meticulously structured free market for healthcare. Swiss citizens are required to purchase health insurance, however, the insurance and healthcare providers are all privately owned. There’s transparency in the system, and competition plays a significant role, pushing down insurance premiums. Although the government does provide subsidies for those who cannot afford insurance, it’s far from the current US approach where the government is increasingly entangling itself into healthcare decisions, restricting free-market competition and further driving up costs.

On the other hand, consider the healthcare model of the Netherlands. Their system is based on a competitive market for healthcare services – which, with regulation and government oversight, leads to a strong balance of quality, accessibility, and cost. Patient satisfaction and quality of healthcare services are consistently high compared to international standards, showcasing the effectiveness of a regulated free-market system.

Despite these shining examples, the Biden administration persists in doubling down on failed policies. Programs like Medicaid, originally intended to help the needy, have exploded in size and scope, with no significant improvement in patient outcomes. By trying to be the provider, insurer, and regulator, the government has ended up delivering increasingly costly care with diminished quality.

It’s time to step back from this monolithic bureaucratic model and toward a true innovation-driven, competitive free-market health system that allows the dynamism of capitalism to drive down costs and improve healthcare quality.

Adoption of a free-market approach could lower healthcare and insurance costs, encourage competition, enhance transparency, and ultimately place a priority on patients’ needs instead of a multi-layered bureaucracy. We must remember that it’s about giving the power back to the people: the choice of doctor, the choice of treatment, the choice of health plan, that’s what free-market healthcare can truly provide.

It’s time for our policy makers to consider a new prescription for healthcare. And perhaps the first step in that direction is a healthy and regulated dose of free-market competition. Let’s embrace it before it is too late. The health of our nation depends on it.

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