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November 23, 2009

Kevin Drum Advocates Free Market In Healthcare?

by Brad Warbiany

He’s referencing an Indian doctor who offers low-cost open-heart surgeries, looking to build a new facility in the Caymans to serve the American market (emphasis added):

A few notes: Shetty runs a for-profit business, not a charity. He makes money at these prices. And although a big part of his lower prices has to do with the generally low cost of living in India, his mass-production techniques have reduced prices more than 50% even compared to other Indian hospitals.

But although this may be cheap medicine, there’s nothing cheap about his results: outcomes at his hospitals are at least as good as they are at the best American clinics, and probably even better. It’s the kind of thing someone ought to be trying here. The whole story is worth a read.

Well, Kevin, if we had a true free market for healthcare in the US, someone could try it. But it apparently hasn’t happened. So I’d ask a few simple questions:

If the problem with our healthcare, as you define it, is the insurance industry, why do you think it hasn’t been tried yet (as a way for them to lower costs)? As an advocate for single-payer, do you think it any more likely to be tried once the government takes over?

And please, show your work.


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