Randall G. Holcombe – April 17, 2019
Rolling Stones fans will be happy to hear that Mick Jagger is on the mend after having heart surgery in New York. While advocates of socialized medicine like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might wonder why a British citizen like Jagger would choose to have surgery in the United States rather than get “free” health care from the British National Health Service (NHS), I’m confident that regular readers of The Beacon will have a ready answer to that question. Despite heavy government involvement in US health care, there is enough of a free market remaining in the US that British citizens who can afford it will choose higher-quality US care to British socialized medicine.
There’s no need for an in-depth argument here because the facts speak for themselves. Given the choice, people will avoid socialized medicine, at least when there is a lot at stake. Will anyone argue that Jagger is uninformed and made a poor choice by coming to the US to avoid the NHS?
I’d like to see the question put directly to Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez: “Why do you think Mick Jagger chose to have heart surgery in New York rather than using Britain’s NHS?” I don’t see any (persuasive) answers to that question except that markets provide better health care services than socialized medicine.
This article was originally published at the Independent Institute. Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas.
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