At Bloomberg, Paul Ryan has an article claiming that competition will lower health care costs, a favorite claim of righties.
Missing is reality. Obtaining medical care is not like buying an MP3 player.
- In much of the country, there is no competition. In my part of the world, one hospital company controls almost all the hospitals. If the EMTs have to transport me, they get to choose among Sentara, Sentara, Sentara, and Sentara.
- If someone has, say a heart attack, he or she doesn’t get estimates for the cost of treatment. He or she likely isn’t even conscious so as to be able to shop around.
- If a woman is having a baby (something that gives more notice), she doesn’t shop around for a delivery room; she goes to the hospital her doctor uses.
- If I need an EKG, I’m not going to shop for a new lab; I’m going to where my doctor sends me.
Republican paeans to market competition are no more than empty propaganda to perpetuate oligarchy, promote monopoly, and placate the most significant Republican constituency: Wall Street bonus babies.
Or maybe they’re just all smoking dope.