Healthy Markets

by Don Boudreaux on July 19, 2006

in Health

I think of the market as an institution not for achieving every available ounce of utility or efficiency but, instead, as a never-ending process of mutual accommodation — for enabling individuals to figure out how to help each other overcome problems they confront.

One big problem confronting almost every American today is the high cost of physician services, hospital services, and pharmaceuticals.  I blame much of this high cost on government interference in these markets — including, but not limited to, restrictive occupational licensing, the FDA, and the Medicare/Medicaid collectivization of high-end health-care resources.  (Not all health care is expensive; not all health-care provision is infected with the poison of government intrusions.)

So — the market responds.  Here are the opening lines of a story that appears in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times:

Coming soon to a store near you: health clinics.

Seeking to capitalize on the country’s costly and often slow healthcare
delivery system, a number of start-ups are building storefront clinics
that offer quick and cheap medical services inside chain pharmacies and
large retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp.

Will these retail clinics solve all health-care problems, real and imaginary?  No.  Will they improve matters more than Hillary Clinton can ever hope to do?  Absolutely yes.


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