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Free Market Medicine

In his essay, Dr. Ron Paul talks about the courageous actions taken by a medical doctor, who operates a low-cost health clinic in rural Tennessee. Dr. Berry's medical practice doesn't accept any form of insurance including Medicare and Medicaid. This allows Berry to treat his patients without government interference or time spent dealing with HMO administrators. Because of this, Berry and his patients determine what kind of treatment is right for them. This also allows Berry to concentrate on treating his patients, rather than spending his time on tedious billing statements. Also, operating his clinic on a cash only basis helps keep the medical costs down substantially. The average charge for routine illnesses is $35. While several liberals spend hours upon hours discussing medical care for the poor, Berry is helping people without insurance every day. More government involvement won't answer the problems of the current health care system, because medical care provided by the free market is the answer to keeping costs down.

I commend Dr. Berry for taking these admirable actions to help people without insurance. In a past article I wrote about about how the devastating costs of health insurance have left 75 million people without health coverage. There is clearly no question that we have an ever-increasing medical insurance crisis in this country. Until a radical change in the paradigm occurs, health care costs will continue to escalate. The traditional media will, of course, claim that the solution is to levy some new tax to provide these health care benefits to those that cannot afford them. This is a prescription for disaster. Another socialized medical system will only repeat the Medicare catastrophe we already have. The solution is to change the entire system. Unless we change the system, drug companies will continue to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from our economy while providing virtually no benefit--other than making themselves richer.

Our country will become increasingly unable to support such an expense without major sacrifices by millions of people. The solution is to redirect the spending to care that will build the health of the country and provide people with the energy to be more productive. The extra productivity would theoretically create more than enough additional wealth to pay for all the health care that we would need. When our nation is focused on health achievement, rather than disease treatment, the total cost of providing medical care would dramatically decline, because healthy people require fewer medical resources. May 5, 2004

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