John Goodman on Curing the Health Care Crisis

"The problem is that we've so completely surpressed the marketplace in healthcare that none of us ever sees a real price for anything," says economist John Goodman.

Reason magazine's Matt Welch sat down with Goodman at FreedomFest 2012 to discuss solutions to healthcare discussed in Goodman's book, "Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis."

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. ReasonTV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now:

About 4:11 minutes.

Camera by Tracy Oppenheimer and Alex Manning; edited by Paul Detrick.

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  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "The problem is that we've so completely surpressed the marketplace in healthcare that none of us ever sees a real price for anything," says economist John Goodman.

    We're basically at the point now where we have two choices: either completely eliminate the monopolistic subsidy/cost-shifting monstrosity we have now, and go back to cash-only payments for healthcare, or go to a single-payer system (paid for with a tax of about 12% of income, which is pretty much what people with health insurance are paying now, on top of their Medicare/Medicaid taxes) with heavy rationing. In other words, if your condition isn't deemed high priority for treatment, and there's not enough money to pay the cost, too fucking bad.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Even at, no one questions the fundamental problem with health care - the lack of health care freedom.

    Even with medical savings account, the system is still entirely a rent seeking regulatory nightmare. Fundamentally, with licensing and regulations, we are not *free* to select our health care, providers, and suppliers, or even to communicate health care information.

    We have to ask permission of a deputized government agent, who has to ask permission of a government deputized guild to practice medicine, buying supplies from companies that have to ask permission to market or advertise their products, and giving us permission slips to us to buy medicine from suppliers who have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to get permission to sell their medicine in the US.

    How is that a *free* market, just because you're spending your own money?

    We easily pay 2 times, 3 times, 10 times what our medicine costs in the world market, and we have to pay a couple hundred dollars to a doctor to get our permission slip to do so.

    Just this week, there was the article about a blogger for the Paleolithic Diet being shut down because he was "practicing as a dietician".

    Medicine is largely an information technology, and the government is busy throttling that information so that rent seekers can extract more money out of us. We're not allowed to know, not allowed to talk, not allowed to choose, and not allowed to act.

    What part of that sounds like a free market to you?

  • ||

    What you say is all true but I have to conclude that you are new here.

    Every issue you raise has been raised and discussed at length at Hit and Run since its inception. In fact, they have been discussed in Reason Magazine as long as I've been reading it, which is since the late 1970s.

    The fact is that at, everyone questions the fundamental problem with health care - the lack of health care freedom nearly all the time.

  • Johnimo||

    It's the specifics we must begin to emphasize: (1) Do away with all CONs at the State level, (2) End the Federal ban on drug reimportation, (3) establish healthcare IRAs, a combination of health savings and retirement accounts. This latter step would provide portability and good health incentive, because money not spent on medical care would be available for retirement. Which would you rather spend you saved dollars on: diabetes treatment or a vacation on the Big Island in your golden years?

    There are about twenty things that need to be done to free the healthcare system. Few of our politicians want to address the issues.

  • Sam Grove||

    There's an editorial cartoon out now attacking "Repeal and Replace"

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