Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I've noticed that defenders of current health care reform efforts have responded to warnings about care being rationed under such a system by arguing that such rationing already takes place. Here is one example of this line of thinking:
Healthcare is rationed now. Insurance companies determine what procedures they will cover, and at what price. They deny payment on certain procedures, which means thay (sic) patients either go without, or they pay themselves. This is how rationing works in a capitalistic system.
I was going to write a blog post about this, but then I saw Megan McArdle pretty much already beat me to it. The only thing I would add is that while rationing already occurs in basically everything through the price mechanism, we probably don't think of it as rationing because we tend to associate it with scarcity, while because of the market we find ourselves in a land of plenty.

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