Curious to see +Fareed Zakaria's full report on this. And amused with the many negative responses to this prelude (zero of them arguing with facts), from the typical people with blind faith in a radical free-market ideology.

Now capitalism is mostly great (or less bad than all alternatives attempted so far), but there's no need to proof that healthcare is one area where pure capitalism has been a failure. The core problem is that the free market always produces an economy of scarcity. This is fundamental to maximize profit. Prices for all services and products will be artificially higher, and their offer artificially limited, compared to their demand by potential customers. It's hard to reconcile this with the primary purpose of healthcare. I am confortable with the fact that I can afford a better car than my neighbor, because I've studied and worked harder. But I'm not comfortable with the fact that my son can have a liver transplant if he needs it, but maybe my neighbor's son cannot have that, because his family didn't "deserve" it. Health should not be one of the prizes awarded for economic success.

One thing I always guessed nobody would dispute, is that universal insurance of some sort--a system where everybody pays for healthcare, no mater how--is necessary. But even this is disputed in the US. Health can be an unfair aspect of life; many conditions cannot be prevented, and some conditions are expensive enough (or can occur at young age--before one can save enough money), so most people simply wouldn't afford the cost. There is no way to reconcile this with with the conservative ideas I see here (well, in the extent that the current debate of GOP primaries represents American conservative values.. I hope this lunacy is just a grotesque caricature of what half of the country really thinks). Bad genes, virii and accidents apparently failed Liberalism 101, and they strike largely at random.

Having said that, I strongly believe that personal responsibility should have a major impact in the costs and quality of healthcare. I just don't believe that economic success should be the criteria for that. No; the fair criteria is the obvious things that everybody, rich or poor, can and should do for their own health. A good diet, some exercise, and abstinence of drugs (remarkably nicotine), will keep the doctor away. I don't consider fair to pay higher insurance or taxes, to subsidize people who enjoy Big Macs or cigarettes regularly... or practice high-risk sports. Yes, at some point it's difficult to draw the line; but there is a significant number of objective, scientifically undisputed factors that are also basically personal choice. I for one, would happily provide to my insurer a yearly, limited health checkup to assert some basic factors, from my status of non-smoker/drug user to my body-mass index. (The idea seems fraught with abuse risks, but only in a private and unregulated health system.) Now the people who want to have the freedom to smoke or eat bacon all day long, they can go on, but freedom and responsibility means paying up for your choices.
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