Healthcare is an endless debate in America, one that gets brought up every few years. Republicans and conservatives have their useless corporate plans to solve this healthcare problem. Democrats and liberals have their own useless government plans. The true solution to this healthcare problem lies not in dependence on corporations nor dependence on government but in independence. We should take healthcare out of the hands of the government and corporations and put it into the hands of the people.
The core of an individualist anarchist healthcare system is health insurance cooperatives. They provide low-cost health insurance and are owned by the patients, not anyone else. They keep costs low due to having thousands of members and being non-profits. They can also lead to healthier habits with members getting sick less often and they protect members from large costs so they don’t have to borrow money or sell assets to pay for care. Doctors also financially benefit and see improved quality of care at their health centers. Being owned by the patients and non-profits, health insurance cooperatives also cover pre-existing conditions.
Cooperatives are not the only part of individualist anarchist healthcare. Another key part would be deregulation, making health insurance competitive by having lower costs to entry and making it high quality and low cost. Burdensome regulations cost more than they help. A 2004 Cato article showed that healthcare regulations cost $339 billion in 2002 but only provided $170 billion in benefits, placing a net burden on society of $169 billion.
Occupational licensing reform would be another component of deregulation. Together with loosening scope of practice rules, it can provide low-cost healthcare without reducing quality. It can also benefit nurse practitioners. Occupational licensing reform overall could benefit workers in other sectors, allowing them a lower barrier to enter into the marketplace and decreasing costs (leading to lower prices for goods) by saving Americans $200 billion a year. This would allow the free market to reign, eating away at corporations’ share of the market. This would lead to a society of small businesses, sole proprietorships, and cooperatives; one that is composed of associated producers, not wage slaves.
Healthcare is an endless debate, argued for decades. It is time for a solution, one that doesn’t rely on the government or the corporations but one that relies on the people. Individualist anarchist healthcare is that solution. It allows people their independence, their autonomy, and their ability to follow their self-interests without impediment. It allows people their liberty and that’s why it’s a superior system.