How Fully Private, No-Insurance Hospitals Help the Common Man
04/14/2022 Daniel Diefenbach
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How does one make an economic decision when the price of a good is not evident? To any adherent of the Austrian school, this of course is impossible. There is no way to decide whether to purchase something if the only way of knowing the price is after committing. For example, who would fill up their car only to see what the price was at the end? No one. In no aspect of life would this make sense, yet it is the standard in the American healthcare system.
In June 2021, the Mises Institute held the Medical Freedom Summit in Salem, New Hampshire, and one of the speakers was Dr. G. Keith Smith of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an institution that is truly free market and receives no money from the federal government. He spoke of the successes of his business and of the simple model he and Dr. Steve Lantier established in 1997. Smith describes their first patient experience as follows:
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He later told the story of a Georgia man who was quoted $40,000 for his surgery at home. The Surgery Center of Oklahoma quoted him $4,000. Upset at having lost a patient to them already, the man’s hometown surgeon decided to match the price. The patient told Dr. Smith that the Surgery Center of Oklahoma “had saved him $36,000 and … hadn’t even performed his surgery.”
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Once again we learn that the Gooferment has really really messed up “health”, “health care”, “health care insurance”, or something else like our lives.
Just separate “health insurance” from employment by making health insurance premiums deductible from the top line, just as it is for businesses, and level the playing field.
After all you don’t lose your car insurance when you change jobs. Why should health insurance be any different?