25
Aug
09

Where free market works

The free market and the healthcare system don’t seem to always produce the best results. Healthcare is just different. I may decide not to fix my ’92 Saturn because it is not worth it, but my 92-year-old grandfather is worth it at any cost. The inability to just walk away or “not buy” is not really an option in healthcare and thus doesn’t fit the traditional model. On top of that there are other issues to consider. There is an information gap. I may be able to tell if the mechanic is trying to pull one over on me when he tries to sell me an “engine shampoo” and I can call Click and Clack and get a second opinion if need be. With medicine, most of us simply do not know enough to really question. You have the drug ads convincing you that you need a pill for every little thing and doctors who also get benefits if you take pills for every little thing. You take them, because the doctor is the one that knows, right? It is hard for the buyer to beware if the buyer doesn’t have the info and not everyone is going to go the med school. Then, on top of that you have another party between you and your doctor doing their best to pay as little as possible in order to make a profit.

The free market does work, though. The story that was on Marketplace last night on my drive home gave me back some faith in our system. Wouldn’t it be really wonderful if the advertisers started only buying ads on news shows that actually gave the news? Just think of it! We might actually have sensible discussions and people might have facts instead of Fox. So, maybe we should all help the free market out a little… anyone have a list of who advertises on Faux News?

If you want to read the story: Marketplace August 24

If you want to hear the story: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/popup.php?name=marketplace/pm/2009/08/24/marketplace_cast2_20090824_64

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