Doctors as Car Dealers


In this post by Arnold Kling, he quotes Kevin Drum’s fear that with privatized health care, medical offices will turn into used car dealerships. Fine, let’s accept this characterization as true. The danger of receiving a lemon is minimal so the concern must be the hard sale. So what? The worst case scenario is that my doctor is pressuring me for additional blood tests, stool samples, and antibiotics. This is not a concern; it is an excuse for worry.


3 Responses to “Doctors as Car Dealers”

  1. Eli Says:

    Kling and Drum are not just discussing privatized care—they are discussing health care that is purchased with consumers’ own money, as opposed to covered by an insulating “insurance” plan. You are right that it is not a concern, but let’s be accurate.

    Kling is very astute on these matters. In fact, I am convinced that Kling’s diagnosis of the problems in the health industry is correct: if everyone had private, high-deductible health insurance, the cost of medical care would plummet.

  2. Jason A. Aimone Says:

    I would think the cost of some types of medical care would plummet, other types would increase. Efficiencies of scale keep some things cheap. If a large number of people stop aquiring treatments. Then it is foreseable that the cost of the treatment to those who have to have it will increase. Think of it as removing the elastic portion of the demand curve and leaving a purely inelastic curve. Those who have to have the treatment will pay alot.

  3. Stewart Says:

    What would you consider a medical economy of scale?

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