For all you know, our high costs are due to the fact that Americans are far more unhealthy/unfit than the rest of the world and therefore more expensive
Its appropriate that this is in the 97% of climate science papers agree thread. Because this argument here, is exactly the same kind of nonsense that climate science faces.
Plenty of studies show that healthcare costs more in the states even when broken down by procedure or otherwise controlling for such theories. (Not to mention the lack of healthcare is one of the reasons people get sicker in the first place, and end up needing emergency care for things that would be taken care of earlier in other countries.)
Bull. The free market exists in utilities
You listed off a set of heavily regulated oligopolies as examples of the free market ideal? Are you for real?
Simply not true. My mother had brain surgery to have a tumor removed. The surgery date was scheduled nearly 3 months out from the discovery of the actual tumor. Even in many reasonably dire situations, you're frequently delayed a fair length of time before an actual remedy is applied.
Missing the point again. 3 hours or 3 months isn't the issue. She is not in a position to negotiate. That is the antithesis of the free market. She needs what they are selling in a way that makes rational cost analysis impossible. How much is your life worth to you?
And those are the cases that insurance should be for (the exact way _all_ other insurance works).
Nope its different from the way all other insurance works in that society feels no obligation to replace your car if it breaks down on you, or you drive it into a pole.
But we aren't going to leave you in a ditch with a broken leg no matter what.
That difference is everything. Its why 'insurance' doesn't work. Society isn't going to leave you broken in a ditch even if you don't have broken in a ditch insurance. So we're going to cover you anyway and that means healthcare is mandatory, and if you can't cover the cost of all possible healthcare scenarios then insurance is effectively mandatory too.
If its mandatory its not a free market, and we should stop trying to contort to pretend that it is or can be.
Yet neither property insurance or car insurance are socialized and seem to work just fine in not wiping out the middle class.
What is your car worth? That's an easy number. What is your house worth? That's another easy number. This is worth X$, therefore I need insurance for X$. And the cost of the insurance is proportional to the value of the asset. If I can afford the asset I can generally afford the insurance. If not, I can sell the asset and buy something within my means.
What is the value of your life? Not an easy number. And the insurance you will require has no relation whatsoever to what you might write down on a balance sheet of your net worth either.