POLICY/INTERNATIONAL: A split in the libertarian right? (albeit a Canadian one)

Buried at the end of a rant about the evils of the Canadian system from our northern brethren’s version of Cato/PRI—the Fraser Institute—is their solution for what to do about it all.

Canada should adopt a system like Switzerland’s that offers universal compulsory private health insurance that includes drug coverage. That way we could have both the benefits of cost-efficiency and the broadest possible access to advanced medicines and medical care," Skinner concludes.

Err.. so some libertarians do think that we should have compulsory health insurance including drug coverage? That’s not very free market of them. No wonder David Gratzer and John Graham had to run away! After all, I need here to quote what Cato’s Michael Cannon wants, or at least doesn’t want, from comments he’s written just last month on THCB.

You’ve been kind enough to put me in the "sensible libertarian" category in the past, so on behalf of all of us: yes, abolish mandates, abolish community rating, and let people group and pool voluntarily. Per Pauly and Herring, you might be surprised how much pooling you get. But if you’re still unsatisfied, this Guide to Subsidies can help:

Voluntary subsidies via insurance: good.Involuntary subsidies via insurance: bad.Involuntary subsidies via cash: less bad.

Michael and I will agree to disagree on the merits of mandated/involuntary subsidies (or community rating)/taxes et al—and for that matter on the validity of Mark Pauly’s body of work. But I’m surprised to see that the Fraser guys are coming down on my side of the line.

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I did some research of the Swiss healthcare system and found some points worth comparing. I’ve taken some liberty of word compression from the original to preserve space and get to the point faster. I’ve posted the links to my information. http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/Switzerland.pdf >>>” Since the Revised Health Insurance Law came into force in January 1996, all Swiss residents must have basic health insurance. Insurers are obliged to accept all applicants, thereby avoiding cream-skimming. The insured may change insurer twice per year. There are 93 registered insurance funds offering compulsory basic insurance in 2002. This has dropped from 1,151 in 1945.… Read more »

Michael F. Cannon

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