Reforming Health Care Takes Smart Shoppers

Albuquerque Dr. Barry Krakow hits the nail on the head in his excellent opinion piece in the Albuquerque Journal. And I’m not saying this just because he mentions my advocacy for such “consumerist” behavior in the health care sector at Rep. Martin Heinrich’s health care town hall meeting.

Writes Krakow in a passage that sums up his argument:

Some of us, including doctors who provide these services, may forget health care is a service with a cost, a profit margin and a price to pay. Politicians and others imagine insurance as a right or benefit owed to citizens. Only politicians can enact such legislation, but the fact remains — health care is first and always a service.

Unlike health-care services, the real world marketplace suffers no confusion about costs, profits and sale prices. You pay for food at a grocery that stocks the food you want and can afford; you don’t ask the cashier “what’s my copay?” or “will my deductible cover it?”

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