Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mythological Health Beasts

Today's informative literature comes from Dr. G. Keith Smith of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. In case you didn't know, the SCO is one of the few medical practices anywhere to actually have a price list of its services, like, you know, normal businesses do.

Anyways, my man Smith has listed Ten Health Care Myths, and the Truth, for our edification. The best myth and corresponding truth:

7). Free market principles don’t apply to health care.

Free market principles always apply, in spite of all attempts by the state to thwart them. Acting in concert and consistent with free market principles allows for the most rational and fair and least wasteful and most moral allocation of resources. Acting in concert with the free market and its characteristic open competition causes quality to soar and prices to plummet. Every time, no exceptions. Patients from all over the country are using our online pricing to leverage better deals in their local medical markets, as our facility and others embracing transparent pricing are only a short plane ride away! As hard as many hospitals are trying to avoid it, they are in a competitive marketplace whether they like it or not. Those in the medical industrial complex who say that free market principles don’t apply to their industry are typically those who benefit from avoiding competition at all costs.

Well said. He's more optimistic than I am---I don't really think that hospitals "are in a competitive marketplace whether they like it or not." I think they're in a distinctly uncompetitive marketplace, and they like that just fine. But about everything else he's correct; medicine, like any field, would benefit enormously from a liberated market and minimal constraints. I'm hard-pressed to see it happening anytime in the near future, but places like the SCO are reason enough to hope.

Elsewhere, one of the chief architects of the Obamacare disaster believes that it's horribly complex and will probably stay that way:

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, one of the towering architects of Obamacare, on Tuesday openly criticized program managers for not moving quickly enough to build the system, warning that if it gets off to a bumpy start it will just get worse.

Decrying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as way too complex, he warned the acting Medicare director that Obamacare is "so complicated and if it isn't done right the first time, it will just simply get worse..."

"I believe that the Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress. Tax reform obviously has been huge too, but up to this point it is just beyond comprehension," said Rockefeller.

"If it gets off to a bumpy start it will just get worse." It's like a date that starts off poorly and goes terminal. Of course, at the end of a bad date, you just walk away. When Obamacare goes badly, then the entire healthcare industry collapses and we all get sick and die. It's a bit of a situation.

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