Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Robber Baron" Healthcare Plan

Michael Tennant writes:

Few people today, except for a few out-and-out socialists, would argue against free markets in principle. Most people now recognize that capitalism provides the common man with a vast array of quality goods at affordable prices, thereby improving his lot, whereas state-controlled economies, such as that of the former Soviet Union, inevitably produce shortages of necessary goods (let alone luxuries) even for the elite.

At the same time, however, few would also argue for a completely laissez faire approach to markets. After all, were it not for government regulations, most people believe the following would occur:

  • Businesses would exploit workers, paying them wages far below what they deserve and forcing them to work under grueling sweatshop conditions.
  • Businesses would force customers to pay exorbitant prices for shoddy merchandise.
  • Outsourcing and importing would transfer jobs from wealthy countries to poorer countries, with neither population benefiting.
  • Many hiring, firing, and promoting decisions would be based on connections in the old boys’ network rather than on productivity and merit.

The most notorious alleged example of these practices is, of course, Wal-Mart, whose very success has bred contempt for it among Americans of all classes and political persuasions. Wal-Mart’s importing of so many goods from China seems to be one of the primary bugaboos of all Wal-Mart haters, for it encapsulates in their minds most of the above supposed problems with capitalism.

Fortunately, Time magazine, not the most likely of sources, has come to the rescue of the barons of Bentonville with an outstanding and upbeat piece on the positive effects of Wal-Mart’s doing business in China. The result is an essay that not only helps rescue the reputation of one of the world’s most maligned corporations but also goes a long way to prove that capitalism improves everyone’s lives without any government intervention whatsoever.

"Robber Barons" gave us cheap oil and aluminum:

The Truth About the "Robber Barons" - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Institute

The "Robber Baron" plan worked for Katrina victims:

Real Katrina hero? Wal-Mart, study says - MSN Money

And The "Robber Baron" plan can work for healthcare.

In 2006 Wal-Mart started offering 300 generic drugs for $4 a prescription. It then added 24 more drugs to the list in 2007. The program expanded again this year. Customers can now buy a 90-day supply of 350 different drugs for just $10. The list of $4 prescriptions has also grown, to more than 1,000.

Let Wal-Mart fix US health care - MSN Money

Mark J. Perry, professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan, notes that Wal-Mart is adding walk-in health clinics in partnership with local hospitals, with a goal of having 400 outlets by 2010. This is a major new business trend that includes Walgreens, Kroger, CVS, and Target.

CARPE DIEM: Kroger Joins Wal-Mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens

Congressman Ron Paul has introduced a bill that would accelerate these free-market solutions. His "Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act" (H.R. 3343) would give you . . .

• A 100% refund from your taxes on all money you spend on health care expenses, including health insurance premiums.

• Make it easier for your employer to deposit the money it now gives to the health insurance companies into a Health Savings Account that would belong to you

• This money would come to you tax free, and you could pay for both health care costs and health insurance premiums out of it

• This means you could buy health insurance that would belong to you instead of your employer

• It also means that small medical expenses could be paid out of your Health Savings Account, which would allow you to reduce your insurance premiums by buying a Major Medical Plan instead of a Cadillac Plan

• Plus, you would earn interest on the money in your Health Savings Account, tax free -- you would get this interest instead of the insurance companies getting it (collecting interest on premiums is how the insurance companies make their money -- these profits could be yours instead)

• Plus, you would become your doctor's customer, instead of the government or your insurance company being your doctor's customer

• This would place the consumer in charge, allowing you to choose low-priced customer-friendly clinics run by "robber barons" instead of impersonal high-priced bureaucracies created by the Healthcare Czar

• This would create competition that would continuously lower prices and improve quality for everyone.

You would rather live in the United States under capitalism than in the Soviet Union under socialism. Click here and in less than 60 seconds you can send a message to your "elected representatives" to start making American heathcare as good as it was before the socialists started messing with it.

Get a Tax Refund for your Health Care Expenses

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