Dr. Kathie Allen, who has decades of experience in the health care market, pointed out that Mayor Curtis’ statement was terribly shortsighted. She said that when patients see the prices for Lasik surgery, they can walk away if it’s too expensive. If your child has a life-threatening illness, on the other hand, all “shopping around” goes right out the window.
The invisible hand doesn’t work so well when you’ve got to go to the hospital every few days for chemotherapy. You’re not reading Yelp reviews or clipping coupons. You’re trying to save the life of your child. And you’re especially not pouring over reviews when you have to rush to the emergency room. In such circumstances, an hour or two of research could mean death.
In short, the health care market is not a normal market. It’s not like buying a book, renovating a kitchen, bathroom or repairing a car, where you can know the exact cost before you commit and can even find ways to wait months before you commit. In a matter of life and death, competition doesn’t work.
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