Healthy people lead to more competition, not less. Free basic healthcare leads to more capitalism which some supporters of free markets seem to misunderstand.
Entrepreneurs innovate in the economy because of their willingness to work hard AND because they are physically able. A young entreprenuer’s career in the US could be permanently damaged if she is diagnosed with cancer. The fear of reoccurrence and financial ruin could result her giving up on her dreams andtaking a steady, but much less impactful corporate job with a healthcare plan. This behavior occurs daily and it permanently damages the economy and therefore everyone.
Market-based healthcare also creates inefficiencies at the worst possible time. During the COVID-19 crisis, US states engaged in a bidding war against each other to obtain basic medical equipment. There is no reason why a resident of a wealthier US state should have access to more life-saving equipment. This ultimate hurts everyone: patients, tax payers, and most importantly the hospital workers.
Of course, there needs to be a way to ensure that people who intentionally harm themselves are not subsidized to do so. Smokers who develop lung cancer need to pay for their coverage in full.
“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project, most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.” ~ Ronald Reagan
I am a strong supporter of free market economics. I believe that the economic motivation is the primary reason why people take risks, employ others, innovate, and make everyone around them wealthier. But free basic healthcare is not the same thing as a free Ferrari. It is not the same as wealthy parents giving their spoiled kids free yachts. What Reagan suggests is that free basic healthcare is a form of communist indoctrination. Others suggest that free basic healthcare would strip people of their economic motivation to work hard.
Free basic healthcare doesn’t make people more or less motivated. No one has ever started a business or new careers because of their motivation to pay for healthcare.
Free basic healthcare just levels the playing field so that everyone can compete, which is what free markets are all about.