Tag Archive for 'Healthcare'

I have seen my future…

And I do not like what is coming.

I’m talking about medical care. It is going to really suck when I get to the age that I require more medical care.

I was driving the wife to various appointments this week. It was an awful experience. There is no medical care. There are only specialists performing procedures. There is no coordination between specialists (unless they think a malpractice suit is in their near future).

You will have to be your own general contractor when it comes to your healthcare.

The Greatness of Milton Friedman

Video of a speech from 1978 at the Mayo Clinic:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPADFNKDhGM#![/youtube]

35 years ago! Notice how correct he was on all points. I know that markets are messy and often, seemingly, unfair, but is government control better? I don’t think so and don’t understand why so many people do.

Dr. Marsh now raises Christmas trees in Ipswich, Mass.

Ed Marsh: Reflections of a Medical Ex-Practitioner – WSJ.com.

The hat tip and the title to the blog post go to Dr. Joy Bliss at Maggie’s Farm. I couldn’t resist repeating it, as it captures what docs are going through these days.

And it’s not just docs like Dr. Marsh, even docs that are more commercially minded have serious trouble under our current regulatory regime.

John Cochrane on Healthcare

It is a long essay, but worth the time. Really. It is very worth the time. Please go read it.

Just a snippet:

Well, my typical critic concludes, maybe you’re right about all this as a matter of economics, but it’s not politically feasible.

No, not now. But the alternative is not economically feasible, a sterner taskmaster. And what was not feasible today, can quickly become feasible tomorrow if it is correct, and once people understand it, and understand there is no option. Our job as economists is to figure out what works and explain it, not to bend reality to some notion of what today’s politicians are willing to say in public.

Our political conversation is truly lunatic. It is taken for granted in policy discussion that no American can be asked to “pay for” (directly, rather than through taxes)  one cent of health cost risk. While they routinely pay for broken and crashed cars, destroyed houses, suffer huge risks in the job market, and shoulder housing, transport and other expenses much greater than the cost of health care. Yet while pretending nobody should pay for things, unfortunates who fall through the cracks can be handed ridiculous $550,000 bills for cancer treatment.

We can start by saying, out loud, health care is a good like any other. It is ok to ask Americans to pay for it, and to allow American companies to competitively supply it, just like any other. It is ok for insurance to retreat to its proper role, of protecting people from large shocks to wealth, rather than being a hugely inefficient payment plan. As car insurance does not pay your oil changes – after you fax in the forms in quintuplicate, obtain permission from your mechanic, go to the in‐network mechanic, and wait 6 weeks, and answer a 20 page questionnaire about your repair history and driving habits.

There are many other quotable sections of the paper. I found the whole thing refreshing. Yes, it supports my priors. What I can’t understand is why so many people want to treat healthcare as something that is not to be left to the marketplace. There is nothing better at providing service and regulating the behavior of all the providers than a vigorously competitive marketplace.

If air travel worked like health care

The Grumpy Economist: If air travel worked like health care.

Well worth your seven minutes. Funny and very frustrating. I loathe our health care system. And anyone that thinks it is somehow going to get better with more government interference is whistling past the graveyard.

Update: You can just watch the video here

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J67xJKpB6c&[/youtube]

Again, worth the seven minutes.