Monday, June 22, 2009

Want better healthcare? Try the free market.

I enjoyed this WSJ article, not only because it presents a businessman who is actually advocating policies that make business possible, but also for the concrete details on how a free market applies to the question of healthcare. A few snippets, but read the whole thing:
As most of corporate America sits on the health-care sidelines -- issuing vague statements, trying not to offend a new U.S. president -- Mr. Burd has charged into the political debate. "I'm here because health-care simply isn't a partisan issue," he says. There is what works, and what doesn't. "I'm genuinely concerned someone might try to solve this by nationalizing health care, at the moment we at Safeway have proven that it is the market that reins in costs."

[...]

Today, Safeway has accomplished what Washington claims is the goal: The company's per-capita health-care expenses have remained flat, compared to the near 40% increase experienced by the rest of corporate America over the past four years. This has not been done by cutting care or shifting costs to employees. Nearly 80% of the 30,000 nonunion Safeway workers who take part in the program rate it good, very good, or excellent.

Magic? Not even. Mr. Burd explains that the "cure for today's ills is simply removing the obstacles to a free health-care market."

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