October 6, 2008 11:09AM

“Before we give up on free markets, let’s actually give them a shot.”

Cato adjunct scholar Shirley Svorny has an oped in today’s Los Angeles Times. An excerpt:

We’ve been hearing a lot about universal healthcare. But before you give up on market competition, consider that government regulation of hospitals and medical professionals makes medical care much more expensive than it need be…

One of the reasons healthcare costs are growing is that lobbyists for medical professionals and hospitals use such laws to protect their members from competition. If they keep blocking cost‐​saving innovations, it could backfire on them. The public will get so frustrated with the high cost of care that they will demand universal healthcare, which won’t be a picnic for the industry or the rest of us…let’s deregulate medical care so that providers can find innovative ways to deliver high‐​quality care cheaply.

Universal coverage sounds appealing, but it means government will be running the trains. Here and abroad, government does not have a good record when it comes to access, oversight, or innovation.

Svorny’s oped draws from her recently released Cato study, “Medical Licensing: An Obstacle to Affordable, Quality Care.”

I’m inducting Svorny into the Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club.