Things like medical services are simple in the free market. It’s only when the government gets into the act that things get complicated, and expensive.
Like cosmetic surgery, or veterinarian services. Cato scholar Daniel Mitchell has found a video, 6 minutes long, that explains how surgeons are publishing their prices online so people can make more intelligent choices. It’s worth viewing:
He says it’s so powerful that he now refers skeptics to it rather than get into a long intellectual defense of the free market with them. And he says we should go and do likewise: “You should share this post with any and all fuzzy-headed friends and colleagues and tell them this is how smoothly the market would work if the government would simply get out of the way.”
Dr. Keith Smith, an anesthesiologist, co-founded the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, and decided to publish his rates online. For example, the center charges just $2,750 for a carpal tunnel syndrome surgery instead of some $7,400 charged by local hospitals. When a person is spending their own money, or using their HSA, they make better decisions. What a concept!
They’ve been posting their schedules online for three years. For June Wiskowski, using the local hospital would have cost her about $5,000 out of her pocket. But using the Surgery Center instead, she is able to use her HSA instead, meaning no out-of-pocket costs to her.
Conclusion: it is possible to offer high quality health care at – ready? – competitive free-market prices!
I liken the free market solution to providing health care to how we buy veterinarian services. Mary and I have a great dog, a LabraDoodle named Happy (which she is!). When she gets an ear infection, Mary takes her to the vet. The vet not only prescribes the medicine, but sells it to her while she is there – no waiting, no standing in line at the drug store, no “discount” cards, no prescription cards under Medicare. The vet gives her the bill which she pays when she leaves. Period. End of transaction.
Lord help us if the government ever decides that health care for pets is a human right that needs to be provided for by the government!
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