Why Not Try Free Market Health Care? John C. Goodman https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2019/10/17/why-not-try-free-market-health-care/#1a4459b65358
Excerpt: I’m often asked if the free market can work in health care. My quick answer is: that’s the only thing that does work. Show me a health care sector where there is no Medicare, no Blue Cross and no employer and I bet that’s a market that works very well. Lasik surgery is one example. Patients get a package price and they know what they are going to pay in advance. There are no “surprise medical bills.” As my colleague Devon Herrick has shown, there is price and quality competition here – unlike other health care markets. Competition works. Over the past decade, the real price of Lasik surgery fell 25%, despite a huge increase in the number of procedures and all manner of technological change – the type of change we are told leads to cost increases everywhere else in medicine. A similar story can be told about cosmetic surgery – another sector where the third-party payers have no role to play. What about conventional procedures – like knee and hip replacements? Can the market work there? Where patients pay with their own money, it already is working. Canadian patients routinely come to the United States for these procedures (in order to avoid lengthy waits for surgery in their own country). They get package prices and they pay about the same amount that Medicare pays. That’s about one-half to one fourth of what employer plans typically pay.