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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 118 of the 1987 edition of my emeritus colleague Gordon Tullock’s 1971 book, The Logic of the Law (footnotes excluded):

The probability that I will become ill is actuarially computable.  However, the amount of medical attention I have after becoming ill is not in any way limited.  I am sure that if I so desired, I could have a $10,000 expenditure out of the treatment of a common cold.  One of the best-known treatments for a cold is to spend some time on the Jamaican beaches.  My decision as to how much to spend on treatments if I am ill is affected very sharply by how much it will cost me to spend that amount.  If any and all treatments are free for me, then I may be expected to spend a good deal more than if I faced a real cost.

As a consequence of this rather obvious fact, all schemes of medical insurance contain some kind of limitation on the freedom of the patient….  In places such as England where large-scale public health is provided, treatment is administratively rationed and there are long lines of people waiting for treatment.