China’s a communist country, totally different from the capitalist U.S., right? They probably have some sort of socialized health system that makes Canada look downright libertarian. Right?
I was talking to a friend (who I’ll call “Pu”) this week. She was surprised that I had to bend over backward to get someone insulin.
Pu: “In China, this would never happen.”
Pal: “Really? You mean because the State would take care of it?”
Pu: “No. In China, you pay a deposit for your care, and have to pay as you go, or that’s it. Can’t afford insulin? Tough. Go home and die.”
She told me about her father’s open heart surgery in a major Chinese city.
Pu: “They gave my mother a slip of paper to pay a deposit. During the surgery, the Chinese valve was a bad fit—they needed an American one. So they stopped the surgery and told my mom to go to the cashier and pay like $6000.00. Then she came back, rang a bell and gave them the receipt, and they finished the surgery.”
Pal:“Um, what would happen if she didn’t have the money?”
Pu: “They close him up and send him home and no one complains.”
She also told me how doctors are paid on the grey market. Grey market brokers introduce patients and doctors, and money is passed under the table to both the broker and to the doctor. If you want surgery early in the day, when the surgeon is “fresh”, it may cost you $3000.00 extra dollars. If you don’t mind care later in the day, maybe only $1000.00.
It’s a nearly ideal free market. You pay more for more, less for less. A libertarian paradise.
So, do you think the U.S. needs more free market in health care?