April 27, 2004

Nitpicking the Angry Economist

Healthcare is the Angry Economist's current rant. And unfortunately, he doesn't quite nail down the nature of healthcare. Healthcare is largely an economic good but it is a very special kind of economic good, not readily comparable to blue jeans and hot dogs. Bad hot dogs don't rampage across town corrupting the good hot dogs and making your life miserable even though you avoid them. Communicable diseases and antibiotic resistance are two specific factors that make healthcare different. This is why I would support subsidized vaccinations and base level emergency care including measures to stop antibiotic abuse. Multi-Drug-Resistent tuberculosis is a major pain in the butt and is significantly caused by poor people poorly exercising their free choices in the area of healthcare.

So yes, I'm in favor of the free market. I'm also in favor of describing things accurately so the free market solutions we devise actually solve the problems we face better than government. Treating healthcare purely as an economic good much as a regular consumer good doesn't get us good outcomes. We need something better. I just have little confidence that this better thing will be government.

Posted by TMLutas at April 27, 2004 06:07 PM