Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Category Error

It seems there is a new conservative society trying to get established in graduate schools of "business, medicine and public policy," inspired by opposition to the affordable care act. They think the reason you don't read a lot about the wondrous powers of the Free Market™ to heal our health care system is because we're all socialist atheist commies.

No, actually the reason you don't read in Health Affairs all about the stuff they fervently believe in is not because academia is ruled by ideologues, it's because what they believe is not true, and the purpose of academic inquiry is to find the truth. Excerpt:

The Duke group’s guest speakers included Dr. Keith Smith, an Oklahoma City anesthesiologist whose surgical center lists the costs of its medical procedures online in a move toward price transparency. The practice only accepts private health insurance, not Medicaid or Medicare. . . .

The Benjamin Rush Society traces its roots to 2008, when Canadian activist Sally Pipes organized a Washington meeting with support from the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its credo: “the profession of medicine calls its practitioners to serve their patients rather than the government.” Conversely, they also support so-called “concierge medicine” in which those with more money pay for individualized care otherwise unavailable.

Now, personally, I have no problem with that. They can refuse to take insurance and only work for rich people if they want to. However, it does not follow that the Free Market™ therefor is the solution to our dysfunctional health care system because think about it Randroids: what happens to people who cannot afford to pay Dr. Keith Smith for an appendectomy when there isn't any Medicaid or Medicare?



kathy a. said...

Well, what they don't want to say is that if people can't afford it, either they die on the street in painful ways, or their relatives go bankrupt. Or possibly both, in inverse order.

Cervantes said...

But that's the magic of the Free Market, don't you see?