I had a conversation with a couple of my neighbors tonight. They’re both HIV-positive. One refuses to officially work so he can be eligible for public assistance with his monthly $1500 pharmaceutical bills. The libertopian solution, as we all know, would get rid of lobbyists for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, deregulate healthcare, permit options for different levels of service, etc. Unfortunately, we’re far astray from a free medical market in this country. My neighbors pointed out that any near-term implementation of a step in the right direction would not help them. In a free market, the pharmaceutical companies are responsible to their stockholders, and they’re not going to deflate prices in the twinkling of an eye. To my neighbors, this is a life-and-death situation. Worse, one is saying he has to vote for Democrats because they support socialized medicine. My neighbors’ propaganda sources differ from mine concerning the quality of healthcare in countries with socialized medicine.

How can we fairly deregulate and privatize healthcare without killing my neighbors and others in their situation?