An interesting article in Reason discusses what effect nationalizing our health care system will have on medical innovation. Specifically, it states that if the U.S. nationalizes its health care medical innovation will stop. Freezing our medical technology will effect the health care of people throughout the world.
The only way of reducing the long term cost of health care is through innovation. In the few areas of medicine that are not controlled by the government and insurance, such as vision enhancement procedures, costs have plummeted due to innovation. Unfortunately, we have put numerous roadblocks in the way of medical innovation. For instances, it cost $1 billion dollars and twelve years to introduce a new drug to the market due to FDA rules. Frivolous lawsuits in our health care system not only increase the costs of health care, but result in decreased innovation due to excessive caution. Frivolous lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers have stopped innovation in this area of medicine. Vaccines are inexpensive medical solutions of the sort that we should be encouraging. President Obama has proposed a seven year patent term for drug patents, down from a twenty year term, and this will reduce innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Drugs are much less expensive option than medical procedures.
If the goal is to increase the quality of medical care and reduce the long term costs, innovation is the only solution. Nationalizing our health care will cause medical innovation to disappear.
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