Health Care is Not a Commodity
Thanks to James Thalman, Deseret News reporter, for continued coverage of the issues that matter in health system reform. One of those issues is the ongoing pretense in the US that health care is a commodity which 'market forces' will distribute efficiently. Read his article on this topic here.
Market forces depend upon the 'invisible hand' of Adam Smith. In a functioning market, the invisible hand is the hand of an all-knowing customer or buyer, who shapes the market by skillfully selecting goods and services among an infinite array of choices. Patients do not have that upper hand in health care. They are often incapacitated entirely, particularly when a great deal of money is about to be spent in their behalf. Beyond that, they are dependent upon the seller for vital information about what services are needed. Unlike a market, price does not determine demand and quality is less expensive, not more expensive. Competition makes health care more expensive, not less expensive.
Let's re-think how we spend our health care dollars.
Dr. Joe Jarvis