Andrew Sullivan points out the glaring flaw in the 'private markets are most efficient' argument coming from the Right:
Private healthcare costs way, way more than public healthcare. The goals of financial sanity and promoting the free market and, in this case, contradictory. Or at least, that's what the comparative international data is telling us. And given that we can readily see massive public resistance to privatizing Medicare, shouldn't explaining and improving the efficiency of the private sector be the Republicans' major focus?
Republicans are faced with a real dilema when it comes to facing facts. Their ideology states that no matter what, private markets work better than government run ones, even when they don't. The massive amount of evidence available shows conclusively that government is FAR more efficient at distributing health care to its population than private markets. Instead of accepting the fact, or as Sullivan argues, concentrating on making private markets better, Republicans simply pretend otherwise. They will repeat over and over again that business knows best and that government should stay away from health care. Sadly, the tactic works and Americans have been convinced that the federal government genuinely wants to ration their health care and kill their grandmothers. As a consequence, US citizens are stuck with one of the most inefficient, expensive and immoral health care systems on the planet all because of adherence to an ideology that can be proved wrong in a matter of seconds.