Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) discussed how the free market would best lower insurance costs in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday.
“What I’d like to do is legalize inexpensive insurance, and you should be able to get insurance for $1 a day. I mean, you really should,” Paul said. “The insurance companies make all the money; all of this is predicated upon still propping up the insurance companies.”
Paul explained how the free market would be best suited to lower insurance costs.
“The reason capitalism doesn’t work in healthcare is the consumer is disconnected from the product,” he said. “Consumers do not make decisions based on price in healthcare, except for a few exceptions.”
“Lasik surgery, when you want to get surgery to get rid of glasses, everybody asks the price,” Paul said. “The average consumer calls four different doctors. It’s a very sophisticated laser, million dollar laser, and yet the price has gone down by three-quarters over 15 years.”
“When you connect the consumer and the consumer cares about the price, guess what? The consumer will shop, and when the consumer shops, competition works,” said the senator.
“We’re not really doing that in health care,” Paul continued. “Most of health care has fixed prices. Medicare, fixed prices. Medicaid, fixed prices. And, even private insurance, no consumer shops for price.”
As one of four conservative senators opposed to the current bill as written, Paul says one of the primary reasons for their opposition to the Senate bill is that it would not significantly lower premium costs, while leaving too much of Obamacare in place.
Paul said that the Senate bill’s failure to address Obamacare’s subsidies to insurance companies proceeds with a trend of “bailing out” insurers.
“I want the bill to look more like a repeal bill. I promised people I was going to repeal it; I didn’t promise people that I was going to replace it with a federal program of bailing out insurance companies,” he said.
“I mean, we could do this for cars,” he added. “New cars are expensive. We could have a car stabilization fund.”