Free Markets, Free People

Quote of the day – health care version

Got a huge chuckle out of Steven Levitt’s opening sentence at the Freakanomics blog:

Many economists view the health-care bill passed in the U.S. earlier this year as falling somewhere between “a complete waste of time” and “actually making the situation worse.”

Indeed.  In fact, I’d have to go with the “actually making the situation worse” determination, given what we’ve seen this past couple of weeks as more and more companies react to the impact of the legislation.

The context of Levitt’s remark is a story by Delia Lloyd talking about the UK going in precisely the opposite way.  Yes, a country which has had socialized medicine for over 60 years is looking at taking steps for a more market-based health care system, with the belief it will improve the British system.

Markets?  Pricing signals?  Competition? 

Nah, our Congress just rejected all of that – couldn’t be a good thing.


Why are we always 60 years late and a dollar short?



6 Responses to Quote of the day – health care version

  • I guess it’s that sense of national pride.  Anything the Brits can foul up, we can foul up better!

  • Just ask the Brits, we always show up fashionably late to World Wars too.

  • shhhhhh.  Nobody tell Erb.

  • McQ Markets?  Pricing signals?  Competition? 

    See, none of these things work!  They lead to people being denied coverage due to preexisting conditions, or being forced – FORCED!!! – to pay more than they can afford for quality health care!  It even leads to rich people having better health care than poor people!  We can’t have THAT!  The solution, obviously, is to devise a system in which we all suffer equally.

    Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.  Oh, we’re out of aspirin, and we’ve only got one phone line for 330 million people.  Good luck.

  • Well, if you believe that the fundamental problem with health care in this country pre-Obamacare was that there wasn’t enough bureaucracy and paperwork, and that patients weren’t insulated enough financially from their care, then yes, Obamacare is the answer.
    The primary result of Obamacare will be to dump millions into Medicaid-like programs. Yes, they’ll have insurance, but there will be no providers to accept it. And no matter how hard the government smacks providers around, it can’t avoid the fact that forcing us to provide care for less than cost will be untenable.
    Good, cheap, available. Pick two.