Arnold Kling, who thinks the healthcare biz need less insurance and more free market capitalism in order to drive down costs and force people to buy only the care they need. I doubt it. More likely it would result in what I saw today: medical offices becoming more like Turkish bazaars (or used car dealerships), filled with distraught patients trying to decide whether they can afford a crown today or if they should wait and run the risk of needing a root canal later. No thanks.
To which I plead: Guilty!
Just today, I saved money on a drug prescription, thanks to the Turkish Bazaar. What happened was that my doctor had prescribed a patented antibiotic. I asked if this was medically necessary relative to just using a common generic. He explained the difference, we agreed that it was minor, and we went with the generic. It cost 95 percent less. If only Medicare had that kind of negotiating power!
You may be thinking, "That's ok when you're dealing with an evil, impersonal drug company. But you can't negotiate with a human professional, can you?"
Well, also this week, the econ department at George Mason contacted me about teaching intermediate macro. My first thought was to come back with the car salesman's line, "Just how much were you thinking of spending today?" But instead I named my price. GMU said that they could not meet it. Fine. The Turkish Bazaar works.
UPDATE: I should have thanked Zach Wendling for the pointer to Kevin Drum's piece.