I will readily confess to a strong preference for individual freedom and my own choices in as many elements of my life as possible. I raised four children all of whom attended parochial schools - two attended a private university (Georgetown) and two public ones (University of VA & The Naval Academy).
I did a career in the Navy and was experienced with the decidedly second rate health care it provided to families. Since then I have been employed in the Private sector with health benefits typical of most major businesses - it's a lot better than what the Navy provided, and I have a choice in the providers I use.
Lots of points raised here;
=> revelette insists on quibbling over his rather unique interpretation of otherwise clear and plain words. (1) We did have a shortage of doctors that predated the Obamacare legislation. (2) The legislation promised to significantly increase demand for health care without doing anything to improve either the supply or ther productivity of the caregivers - thereby exacerbating the shortage. (3) Worse, parallel actions to reduce the reimbursement rtates for Medicare & Medicaid (in order to create the illusion that the "new" system would be cheaper), and the flood of chickenshit regulations associated with the new law, are driving existing practitioners out of the market, further worsening an already bad situation.
=> Thomas reminds me of government's beneficial role in correcting market distortions;
Government intervention can improve on market outcomes when market signals are distorted by oligopolies, asymmetric information, or externalities. And as it happens, all these distortions occur in the markets for health care and health insurance.
He is correct, of course. However the government "corrections" themselves often create their own worse distortions, as for example with agricultural or "clean" energy subsidies. The AMA is not either the only or the chief force limiting new medical care providers. (Governments at all levels limit the construction of new hospitals or opening of new clinisc as a means of limiting short term claims on their entitlement programs.) Moreover the AMA's actions are no different than those of labor unions that seek to limit the supply of workers with access to "their" jobs (try getting a job as a carpenter in New York if you don't have a relative in the union or a friend in the Mafia). I would like to see the freest, least distorted market for health care services we can get. Obamacare is a huge market distortion.
=> Monterey Jack is confused about single-payer HC systems. In the first place Germany does not have a single payer system. In the second place the attributed costs of government paid systems are measured in terms of government, not real, accounting. Legal, tort claim, enforcement and broad administrative costs, as well as the cost of capital are not included in the published figures. The comparisons are themselves distorted. We probably do pay more here on a unit cost than (say) in the UK or Canada. However, our outcomes for patients diagnosed with a host of serious diseases are far better than theirs. An excellent way of lowering average costs with the least effect on average mortality is to deny care to those with the highest expected mortality. Makes sense on the average, but not to the individual involved. That is precisely what is done in the UK and Canada with their controlled access to specialists and enforced limitations on their supply.