[ExI] USA Health Costs

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 23:24:02 UTC 2009

2009/6/2 Fred C. Moulton <moulton at moulton.com>:
> On Mon, 2009-06-01 at 23:18 +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> 2009/6/1 BillK <pharos at gmail.com>:
>> > Good analysis here in the New Yorker magazine:
>> > <http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all>
>> The article is about overservicing. Medical overservicing is not only
>> expensive, it can also be dangerous. Free market medicine encourages
>> overservicing.
> Whether "Free market medicine" encourages overservicing is a conjecture.
> Perhaps correct; perhaps incorrect.  But since there is not a free
> market in medicine in the USA it is difficult to apply that conjecture
> to the McAllen situation.  Since medicine is regulated in the USA you
> could more easily make the claim that the current type of regulated
> medicine might encourage overservicing in certain areas.  I said
> "current type of regulated medicine" since a different type of
> regulation could score differently in the measurements and I said
> "might" just to include the possibility that there are other factors not
> yet noticed.

Even some types of Government-controlled medicine encourage
overservicing, where the doctor is payed per patient seen or per
procedure rather than being on a salary. This is just part of
capitalism: it's understood by everyone that when they walk into a
shop, the shopkeeper will try to sell them something, whether they
need it or not. There may be other advantages to having private
practitioners, but the temptation to overservice has to be taken into

Stathis Papaioannou

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