ozarkcanoer wrote:Oh, BTW, it isn't much of a free market if your neurologist tells you that these drugs are the only treatment for this terrible disease. I could do without my computer but I can't do without my brain.
That's exactly my point. There is no free market in healthcare.
Imagine how PC prices would look if we bought them in the same way we buy medical care. You would go to a PC specialist and tell him what you want to do with your PC. He would then decide which PC you need and give you an RX for it. He would not tell you about other PCs or price comparisons. You would take the RX to a PC store. They would give you the PC and charge you the copay. Your PC insurance would pick up the rest. You might not even know what the actual cost was. But you would soon discover that your PC insurance costs were going through the ceiling, because your PC specialist picked out a high price PC for you. And the store that sold it to you charged top dollar.
Let me give you an example of one area of health care that still operates as a mostly free market; vision correction surgery. Medicare and most insurance companies consider that an elective procedure so they won't pay for it. You have to pay out of pocket. When that procedure first became available about 25 years ago it cost about $3000 per eye. But now it is frequently advertised for $1000 per eye. Why did the cost drop? Well since people are paying out of pocket they shop for the best prices. That puts competive pressure on the providers. They must have reasonable prices if they want to do business.
Take a look at the price for Liberation treatment within the USA. The low price doctor charges $5000 ( just raised to $6000). The high price doctor charges $40,000. Why the difference? Well if your insurance pays for it you don't care what it costs because it isn't coming out of your pocket. But if we pay out of pocket then the doc who charges $40,000 won't get any customers. He will either have to drop his price or get a job selling hot dogs.