Market-Based Reforms in Health Care Are Both Practical and Morally Sound
Version of Record online: 12 OCT 2012
© 2012 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM 1: Conflicts of Interest in the Practice of Medicine
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 537–546, Fall 2012
How to Cite
Taylor, J. S. (2012), Market-Based Reforms in Health Care Are Both Practical and Morally Sound. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 40: 537–546. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2012.00687.x
- Issue online: 12 OCT 2012
- Version of Record online: 12 OCT 2012
In this paper I argue that the free-market provision of health care is both practical and morally sound, and is superior in both respects to its provision by the State. The State provision of health care will be inefficient compared to its free-market alternative. It will thus provide less health care to persons for the same amount of expenditure, and so save fewer lives and alleviate less suffering for two reasons: state actors have no incentive to husband their resources effectively, and that in a non-market setting, special interest groups can capture resources through lobbying, perverting them away from their efficient allocation. Given these considerations of efficiency a utilitarian should morally prefer the free-market provision of health care to its State-based rival. Furthermore, even if one is not a utilitarian, the free-market provision of health care will be more morally sound than its State-based alternative because it will likely better respect the autonomy of persons, and will better refrain from imposing values upon persons. With these points in hand, I address two prominent objections to a free market system of health care.