Tag: Price Control

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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Replacing Medicare’s Ridiculous Fee Schedule »

In recent posts I’ve explained the folly of Medicare’s reliance on a predetermined fee schedule. Is there a better way? Here’s one idea, which I develop at length in my book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis and elsewhere.[1] Instead of having Medicare fix millions of prices for predetermined packages of care, we should allow...
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Grocery Stores, Healthcare, and the Case for Real Markets »

Think of a supermarket. There are probably more than a hundred in the city of Dallas alone. I can walk into any of them—in most cases, at any time day or night—and buy thousands of different products. The only wait I experience is at checkout, but express lanes speed that along if I want...
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Six Billion Physician Fees »

Even though prices don’t have the same meaning in the medical marketplace that they do in other markets, they still have the power to influence provider behavior. Take Medicare, which has a list of some 7,500 separate tasks it pays physicians to perform. For each task, there is a price that varies according to...
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Healthcare and the Cost of Non-Price Rationing »

The orthodox approach to health policy is obsessively focused on the burdens of price barriers to care, and at the same time inordinately oblivious to the burdens of non-price barriers. Yet non-price barriers to care can be very costly. This is an important point that dooms many healthcare proposals, as I explain in my...
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Both the Right and Left Go Wrong on Healthcare Prices »

Despite the fact that prices in healthcare do not play the same role as they do in other markets, there is a tendency on both the political right and the political left to ignore this fact. The right, for example, issues frequent calls to make prices transparent. A number of proposals would even require...
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What Medical Tourism Tells Us about Our Healthcare System »

If you ask a hospital in your neighborhood to give you a package price on a standard surgical procedure, you will probably be turned down. After the suppression of normal market forces for the better part of a century, hospitals are rarely interested in competing on price for patients they are likely to get...
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