Argument: Free health care leads to overuse of medical services and higher costs
"Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?". Balanced Politics.org - "Patients aren't likely to curb their drug costs and doctor visits if health care is free; thus, total costs will be several times what they are now. Co-pays and deductibles were put in place because there are medical problems that are more minor annoyances than anything else. Sure, it would be nice if we had the medical staff and resources to treat every ache and pain experienced by an American, but we don't. For example, what if a patient is having trouble sleeping? What if a patient has a minor cold, flu, or headache? There are scores of problems that we wouldn't go to a doctor to solve if we had to pay for it; however, if everything is free, why not go? The result is that doctors must spend more time on non-critical care, and the patients that really need immediate help must wait. In fact, for a number of problems, it's better if no medical care is given whatsoever. The body's immune system is designed to fight off infections and other illnesses. It becomes stronger when it can fight things off on its own. Treating the symptoms can prolong the underlying problem, in addition to the societal side effects such as the growing antibiotic resistance of certain infections."
Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD. "Universal Health Coverage --- Call It Socialized Medicine". Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. 2000. - "The other adverse consequence of this tax discrimination is that it led to cost inflation of medical care. Everyone came to believe that we were spending "other peoples' money" (OPM). And, when you're spending OPM, the sky is the limit. Patients have been told that they are getting "free" insurance from their employer and quite naturally came to expect everything they wanted or desired, whether of marginal benefit or not, would be "fully covered." Likewise, the physician who "participated" in insurance and was paid directly by the insurance company for everything with OPM, had no disincentive to hold down costs. The patients came to view these "participating" physicians as "good" and "compassionate" because the physicians would accept their insurance and the patient would have to pay little or nothing out of pocket, not realizing that OPM was actually their money all along."