Sue Blevins nails it in this letter in today’s WSJ:

In May 2006, economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman explained to Hillsdale College president Larry Arnn: “We have a socialist-communist system of distributing medical care. Instead of letting people hire their own physicians and pay them, no one pays his or her own medical bills. Instead, there’s a third party payment system…Nobody is happy: physicians don’t like it, patients don’t like it. Why? Because none of them are responsible for themselves. You no longer have a situation in which a patient chooses a physician, receives a service, gets charged and pays for it. There is no direct relation between the patient and the physician. The physician is an employee of an insurance company or an employee of the government. Today, a third party pays the bills. As a result, no one who visits the doctor asks what the charge is going to be — somebody else is going to take care of that. The end result is third party payment and, worst of all, third party treatment.”

Sen. Clinton goes wrong by making physicians employees of the government. But Mr. Romney goes wrong by making physicians employees of insurance companies. Both could do right by making physicians employees of their patients. This could be done by making health-care payments tax deductible for all citizens — especially those who want to be responsible and pay their own (non-catastrophic) health-care bills. A policy that encourages citizens to pay their own bills for non-catastrophic services, rather than rely on insurance companies to process claims for many routine services, is the true American way.

Sue A. Blevins
Institute for Health Freedom

We should offer a prize to the person who can best take her letter and turn it into a bumper sticker.