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Stating What Should be Obvious


Health care is not a regular consumer good in which normal market incentives apply.

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  • howard

    i’ve been pointing out for years to right-wingers that provision of health care does not meet the basic definitions of a free market (multiple sellers of a relatively undifferentiated product to multiple informed buyers with low barriers to entry) and pointing them at ken arrow’s seminal work.

    hasn’t done me a bit of good, but one must keep trying.

    • NonyNony

      That’s because right-wingers in general don’t believe in free markets. They believe in unregulated markets. There’s a HUGE difference but since most of them know jack about econ anyway it’s not like you can convince them otherwise.

      • howard

        nonynony, that is an excellent way of putting it, and i’m going to appropriate that line about right-wingers believing in unregulated markets, not free ones.

      • rea

        An unregulated market is an oxymoron.

        • R. Johnston

          That doesn’t stop right-wingers from believing in them.

          • DrDick

            Believing in multiple impossibilities is the hallmark of conservatism.

            • Bill Murray

              6 impossible things before breakfast, is all we ask

              • R. Johnston

                If atheists with a biting sense of humor who mocked the concept of Armageddon by writing about the Restaurant at the End of the Universe were the conservative element of society then there would be no need for me to be as cynical as I am.

            • Malaclypse

              “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

          • rea

            In the marketplace, merchants and customers are coming to blows over how long a yard of cloth is. Over at the food court, customers are in convulsions from food poisoning. At a booth of the edge of the market, a customer sticks a spear through the vendor, gathers up the goods in a bag, and walks jauntily away. It’s the marketplace, after all–no regulations here.

      • Right-wingers believe that markets are whatever happens in the absence of government regulation.

        They don’t understand that markets are specific things that function in certain ways; nor that they require certain conditions to operate in the manner of an efficient market.

    • DrDick

      The exceptions to this list for medical care far exceed the matches. On the other hand, if you read the comments on his blog post relating to the column you will see a lot of true believers out there.

  • Bottom line, doctor: you set this compound femur fracture for $1200, painkillers included, or I walk.

    And also, ouch.

    • BigHank53

      Really? My bottom line is $37,000.* Let me get my video camera before you leave, though; this’ll be a bit hit on Youtube.

      *A friend’s son fell off his bike, resulting in a compound fracture of his arm. Total charges for reduction, setting, emergency surgery came to almost $35k. Fully covered by their insurance from the wife’s state job…which costs them $176 per month. Now do you know why unions are not going to vote republican for the next thirty years?

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