John Goodman of Southern Methodist University in Dallas is the best healthcare analyst in the US. Here is something he posted recently about the deplorable medical system that cronyism has given us:
“If banking were like health care, automated teller machine (ATM) transactions would take not seconds but perhaps days or longer as a result of unavailable or misplaced records.
“If home building were like health care, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers each would work with different blueprints, with very little coordination.
“If shopping were like health care, product prices would not be posted, and the price charged would vary widely within the same store, depending on the source of payment.
“If automobile manufacturing were like health care, warranties for cars that require manufacturers to pay for defects would not exist. As a result, few factories would seek to monitor and improve production line performance and product quality.
“If airline travel were like health care, each pilot would be free to design his or her own preflight safety check, or not to perform one at all.”
Goodman also notes that the US government’s Institute of Medicine estimates that 30% of healthcare spending is wasted. This is similar to how the Soviet economy was run. But knowing that the system is full of waste does enable government planners to identify or eliminate the waste. As Goodman concludes:
” …Getting rid of waste is what markets do. But they can’t do their job if they are systematically suppressed.”