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Free Market Health Care Works in Singapore

jimtimmy
Posts: 3,953
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3/10/2012 4:17:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
From my blog, and quite Relevant:

My last couple of posts have dealt with the Switzerland Health Care Model. Generally, I have viewed the system through a positive lense, and I have identified the system as more "consumer driven" than other Western Health Care systems, including our own. In passing, I gave a nod to a system that is even more "consumer driven" than the Swiss one.

This Health Care system is, of course, the one present in Singapore. Private Health Care spending takes up 60% of total Health Care costs in Singapore. That is more than the United States (where private spending takes up 50% of all costs), Switzerland (40%), Canada (30%), France (25%), Germany (25%), and the United Kingdom (15%).

Perhaps more importantly, 95% of the Private Spending in Singapore is out of pocket, meaning that consumers pay directly for their health care. In contrast, Switzerland, which is the second most "consumer driven" system is only 75% out of pocket, and the United State's system is only 25% out of pocket. For an in depth summary of Singaporean Health Care, look here.

Of course, Singapore's Health Care system is no libertarian paradise. However, it is based on the free market principle of individual responsibility, as individuals are asked to pay for their Health Care directly. Basically, the government forces you to save for your own personal medical expenses through a program called Medisave. This is the central tenent of the Singapore Health Care system. There is also a program called Medishield, which is a system of national catastrophic coverage. There are also many private options available through Medishield. Another component is Medifund, which gives subsidies to those who can't afford Health Care. They also have Eldershield which is a private insurance scheme meant to help the elderly.

As you can see, the system is far from laissez faire, but it is based on sound market principles and should be considered the most "consumer driven" Health Care system in the world. So, does it work?

Well, in terms of cost, it would seem so. Singaporean Health Expenditures take up about 3.9% of GDP. That is far lower than the 17.4% of GDP in America. It is also far less than the 10 to 12% of GDP taken up by all the other systems in North American and Europe. In fact, Singapore's system is far less expensive than almost any first world country. The United Kingdom, for example, is seen as one of the cheapest systems in the world. Yet, Health Care takes up about 10% of GDP there, much more than the 3.9% of GDP in Singapore.

There are other reasons that Singapore's Health Care is cheap. Like most Asian countries, Singapore has a healthy population, and the government restricts Health Care supply to a degree. These both contribute to the low cost of Health Care, but there should be no doubt that the element of forced Medical Savings Accounts contributes significantly to the lower cost as well.

Despite having lower costs, Singapore has very high life expectancy and very low infant mortality. Of course, there is alot of evidene that these things have nothing to do with Health Care quality. But, if you do think that they are good indicators, you should love the Singapore system.

The Singapore Health Care system would be hard to replicate in other countries. The small, homogenous, wealthy City has an easier time building public Health Infrastructure and administering Public Health programs. The healthy population and absence of socialized versions of programs like Social Security also contribute to the success of the system. However, the United States can learn from the Singaporean principle that Health Care consumers pay for their own Health Care.

Link here:

http://marginalcost-jim.blogspot.com...
President of DDO
Mimshot
Posts: 275
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3/12/2012 8:25:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
And yet they don't seem thrilled with their system either:
http://www.reuters.com...
Mimshot: I support the 1956 Republican platform
DDMx: So, you're a socialist?
Mimshot: Yes
Contra
Posts: 3,941
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3/12/2012 5:36:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
In Taiwan, they have a great healthcare system that covers all with no waiting lists, remarkable efficiency, and guess what? It was modeled from our Medicare system. That shows that we can have a SP system.

http://www.npr.org...

Besides, it isn't "socialism".

-Free Market HC -------- Current system in US -----Managed Care ----- Single-Payer HC --------- Socialized Medicine ------------
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,211
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3/12/2012 7:14:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Almost none of the Free Health Care countries in the world have to deal with both of these problems the US has.

1) HUGE military expenses.
2) HUGE Cronyism. (it is impossible to separate US businesses from any proposed free health care plan entirely)
Mimshot
Posts: 275
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3/13/2012 1:23:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yes, free market health care works great in government owned hospitals.
Mimshot: I support the 1956 Republican platform
DDMx: So, you're a socialist?
Mimshot: Yes