The New York Times Ignores the Free Market

Wow, you are not going to believe this but studies show that Americans are charged more for many healthcare items. Yep. It’s true. Thank goodness the NYT finally revealed that to us:

Patients and insurance companies in the United States pay higher prices for medications, imaging tests, basic health visits and common operations. Those high prices make health care in the U.S. extremely expensive, and they also finance a robust and politically powerful health care industry, which means lowering prices will always be hard.

For a typical angioplasty, a procedure that opens a blocked blood vessel to the heart, the average U.S. price is $32,200, compared with $6,400 in the Netherlands, or $7,400 in Switzerland, the survey finds. A typical M.R.I. scan costs $1,420 in the United States, but around $450 in Britain. An injection of Herceptin, an important breast cancer treatment, costs $211 in the United States, compared with $44 in South Africa. These examples aren’t outliers.

This is such bad reporting. First of all, these are the same idiots who won’t give this administration credit for pushing for price transparency. The stuff you see in the article is just plain propaganda for their political idealism. The US prices are NOT an average price. No one knows what the f%ck those prices are because the hospitals and insurers won’t give them out. If the author bothered to look around at those places that do cash procedures then the same MRI is around $500, which is what the moronic author states it is in Britain. And why not interview Dr. Keith Smith about his Surgical Centre of Oklahoma? His cash prices are cut rate. Or was that too much work for you, Margo Sanger-Katz?

I guess so. Instead, you have this:

The single-payer plans Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed would use a large government insurer to set prices for all medical services. Both campaigns assume substantial savings would result as that government system lowered prices across the board: for doctors, hospitals, medical devices and drugs.

Yeah, because the government has been great at saving money and giving great care.

Let the free market work! Take the third parties out of game and let them do what insurance is supposed to do, which is to cover for a future catastrophic event.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “The New York Times Ignores the Free Market

  1. Jennifer Hollywood
    February 11, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    While free market is great for many tests, it won’t work for emergent care. You can’t shop around for angioplasty while you are having your heart attack. You can’t shop around for any testing when you are an inpatient requiring CT scans or blood work or MRI’s. You are at the mercy of the system. So while shopping around can work for non-emergent care, currently there is no resource for emergent or urgent care.

  2. Dick Carlson
    February 7, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Last year, I needed an MRI and insurance wouldn’t pay for it. Local hospital here in MO (cheapest) wanted $2K. Drove down to Houston, where we used to live, and found a storefront imaging center that charged $250 cash. Surgeon up here thought it was just fine, and it got me the treatment I needed from the Insurance droids.

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