Thursday, March 21, 2013

Health Care Quote of the Day...

...comes from John Cochrane, author of the greatest healthcare essay ever written:

How occupational licensing is captured to restrict supply and push up prices should be obvious by now – Milton Friedman wrote his PhD dissertation on it. If you’re a parent, you know one small example. It’s 2 am in a strange city. The kid has an ear infection. She needs amoxicillin, now. Getting it is going to be a 3 hour trip to an emergency room, hundreds of dollars, so a “real doctor” can peer in her ear, then off to the pharmacy to fill the prescription. A nurse practitioner at the Wal-clinic could handle this in 5 minutes for $15.

I’m not arguing that we have to get rid of licensing. But licensing for quality does not have to mean restriction of supply to keep wages up, including state-by-state licensing, restriction of residency slots, or restrictions that encourage overuse of doctors where they are not needed.

1 comment:

  1. Now, if the self-same PA at the Wal-clinic peered into the ear, saw some inflammation, she might ALSO say, "put 2 drops of refined olive oil in her ear, hold a warm rice bag to her ear, give her 2 drops [PAs like 2 drops of anything--hey, it's my story] of single-malt whiskey for the pain, and elevate the head of her crib--or carry her around, upright--until 4 p.m. tomorrow. Don't nurse her OR bottle-feed her in a flat position. If she's not better, call and I'll phone in the Rx for amoxicillin."