Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Goodman: Market Forces Work

John Goodman discusses how medical markets can actually work, citing a number of positive examples including:
Cosmetic and LASIK surgery
Laboratory testing
Retail health clinics
Concierge medicine
Medical tourism
The common element is that when patients control their health spending, they rationally choose to seek the greatest value for their dollar. The result is decreasing costs and increasing quality, as we expect in the free market.

For more information, see the blog post and the full paper by Devon Herrick, "Health Care Entrepreneurs: The Changing Nature of Providers".

These economic arguments work especially well when combined with the moral arguments for free market health care -- namely that patients have the right to seek health care and physicians have the right to provide it in terms that they find mutually agreeable.