No Market Possible for Health Care?

by Don Boudreaux on October 11, 2009

in Competition, Health

Responding to one of the lamest arguments that I’ve yet encountered for why a free market in health care is impossible, I sent the following letter a few days ago to the Washington Post:

Neil Billings asserts that there can be no free market in health care because consumers cannot say “No, I won’t buy that” (Letters, Oct. 8).

Even granting Mr. Billings’ allegation that no consumer can refuse to have a broken bone fixed or to have medically necessary dialysis, it doesn’t at all follow that a free market in health care is impossible.  After all, a thriving and competitive market in food exists even though no consumer can refuse to eat.  Just as each consumer can easily refuse to purchase food from any particular grocer or restaurant, so too can each consumer refuse to purchase health care from any particular physician or clinic.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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