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Tag: Price control

Is There an Argument—Any Argument—for Community Rating? »

I’ve never seen an intelligible argument for community rating. I think I know why. I’m afraid there isn’t any. Don’t believe me? I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I let you pick any recognized ethical system in the entire history of Western philosophy. (Only Western? Yeah, we’re not cultural relativists here.) Altruism, Egoism, Nietzschean...
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Price Transparency: What To Do and What Not To Do »

I’ve written about sky-high hospital prices in this blog, especially for uninsured patients who present at emergency rooms. A related issue is price transparency. In most normal transactions, it is not hard to discover the price you will pay for a good or service. Indeed, for most ordinary items, prices are posted and we...
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Obamacare Will Not Prevent Hospitals from Overcharging »

In two recent posts I discussed out-of-control prices for hospital services, especially emergency-room care. In the first, I argued that sky-high hospital prices are the result of government interference. In the second, I cheered the fact that consumer-driven health plans are inducing hospitals (ever so gradually) to be more upfront with patients (at least,...
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Venezuela’s Price Police »

The Venezuelan government’s war on price inflation is not a metaphorical one—last weekend President Maduro, who owes his title to April’s rigged election, ordered the military takeover of Daka, a chain of electronic stores, and the arrest of several managers from that and other retail companies. The rhetoric employed by Maduro was inevitably interpreted...
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A Woman May Die Because of Obamacare »

For the past 20 years I have been trying to convince my colleagues in the health policy community that managed competition contains perverse economic incentives. These incentives do more than misallocate resources. They create ominous risks for the health and safety of patients with serious medical conditions. Consider the editorial in Monday’s Wall Street...
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Victory! The Independent Institute’s Longtime Opposition to Inclusionary Housing Policies Lays Groundwork for Governor’s Veto »

On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1229, a measure that would have authorized California cities and counties to establish inclusionary housing requirements as a condition of development, allowing them to force housing developers to set aside units for low-income residents. The Independent Institute, and especially its Senior Fellow Benjamin W. Powell, provided...
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Community Rating and the Pathology of Price Controls »

If there is a single issue that most divides economists from non-economists, it’s the way they view prices. Economists view prices as creators of incentives for buyers and sellers. When prices change behavior changes. As a result, prices are mechanisms for determining the allocation of resources. If they are not allowed to perform this...
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How Much Do You Want to Pay for Medical Care? »

The title above is not a misprint. I want you to think about choosing your own price. Suppose you could magically pay any fee you want to health care providers and they can’t refuse. You can’t control the fee others are paying. But you can select your own. What fee would you choose? Your...
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Hospital Care That Is Priceless »

Something is wrong in the hospital marketplace. Government data released recently show that some hospitals in Dallas charge five times as much as other hospitals for the same procedures! This follows on the heels of a Time magazine/ CNN report, showing that hospitals routinely charge ridiculous prices for items and services: prices that bear...
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Doctors Should Rethink “Costless” Medical Ethics »

One of the most important differences between my book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, and the conventional literature on health policy is my belief that patients should be encouraged to choose between healthcare and other uses of money. And that’s not just for small expenses. I think patients should be encouraged to make choices...
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