Assault on For-Profit Medicine Begins


Matt Iglesias in TIME Magazine. Remember now, Steve Brill did a 24,000-word assessment of American health care and Obamacare, and he concluded that it’s too expensive. And, by the way, he’s right about something. It’s expensive because somebody pays for it. But it’s not the patient. Well, ultimately it is, but the patient doesn’t know it. There is no direct relationship between the consumer and the provider in health care. And if there were, you would see prices come down faster than anything else. It’s amazing. You go into the free market, you buy a car. You deal with the dealer. You deal with the salesman. The price is on the sticker. You negotiate, get the best price you can. You walk out of there and you lie to people about what a great deal you got.

With health care, you don’t do any of that. You have an insurance plan. You might have a copay. Whatever they charge, somebody’s paying. You may be paying a big percentage of it, but it’s out of your hands. B ut if you had to pay for every dime of health care you get, you’d be far more interested in how much it costs, and you would be a more discerning and discreet shopper and there would be competition. And that doesn’t exist. With Obamacare it’s only gonna get worse, and Brill says that. So, anyway, it’s a 24,000-word analysis of American health care in which Brill concludes it’s too expensive. Right, we need 24,000 words for that.

But another reporter at TIME magazine says, wait a minute, Brill missed something. Twenty-four thousand words is almost the whole magazine these days, given how small it is. Twenty-four thousand words and he missed something, and Iglesias said what he missed was the doctors are making too much money. So Iglesias, the author of this piece in TIME magazine, says that we need Congress to mandate lower prices. We need Congress to mandate lower payments to doctors.

Let me read from this article. “When foreigners force prices to be lower, they get lower prices.” Really? The National Health Service in Great Britain, really, prices are down because people want them to be? It’s absurd. “When Americans force prices to be lower (via Medicare), we get lower prices. If we want lower prices through new legislation, the way to get them is to write laws mandating that the prices be lowered.” Oh, well, why didn’t I think of that? Why don’t we have somebody in Congress write a law that gasoline prices are too expensive? And then why don’t we have a law saying that houses are too expensive, and let’s have Congress write a law that says property, land, is too expensive. And next, let’s have somebody in Congress write a law that college is too expensive, tuition prices are going through the roof, we need Congress to mandate lower prices.



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