Ryancare, Free-Market Health Care and Ayn Rand

Ryancare, Free-Market Health Care and Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan has claimed that the American Health Care Act (also known as Ryancare), which is intended to replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), is a return to a “free market” in health care. And various commentators and politicians are suggesting that Ryan’s plan is inspired by Ayn Rand’s philosophy. For example, Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., went on CNBC’s Squawk Box to say that “It’s not really a health-care bill. This is an ideological exercise to basically satisfy Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand tendencies.”

But whatever Ryan or his critics may think about his plan, Ryancare won’t bring about a free market in health care. Not even close. Anyone who took Rand’s ideas seriously would recognize that for at least fifty years, we’ve not had anything even remotely resembling a free market in health care — and that Ryancare doesn’t even start to move us in the right direction. On the contrary, it entrenches some of the most destructive features of Obamacare.

What exactly does Ayn Rand’s philosophy of rational selfishness and laissez-faire capitalism imply in medicine? To discover what a free market in health care would look like and why it would be moral, check out some of our most important commentary on this issue: