Free market healthcare

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In a system of free market healthcare, prices for healthcare goods and services are set freely by agreement between patients and health care providers, and the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority. A free market contrasts with a controlled market, in which government intervenes in supply and demand through non-market methods such as laws creating barriers to market entry or directly setting prices.

Advocates of free market healthcare contend that systems like single-payer health care and publicly funded health care result in higher costs, inefficiency, longer waiting times for care, denial of care to some, and overall mismanagement.[1]

Skeptics argue that health care as an unregulated commodity invokes market failures not present with government regulation and that selling health care as a commodity leads to both unfair and inefficient systems with poorer individuals being unable to afford preventive care.[1]


The health freedom movement supports free choice in health care. The libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute argues in favor of deregulation of the medical profession and health care sector.[2] Some activists are politically left-wing, whilst the Republican congressman and 2008 U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul, who supports a free-market health care system,[3] calls himself a free market libertarian. A leading supporter of the movement,[4] Paul introduced the Health Freedom Protection Act in the U.S. Congress in 2005.[5][6]

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