||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Friday, May 05, 2017
Here is how the market works when there isn't a market
For the tellers of sad, sad stories and - more so - for the emotional infants whose heads are tilting with heartfelt concern at their tales, allow me to explain how any market works when it is "free". This starts with health but applies to anything else.
Coverage is not the same as care, is the short of it. Single-payer is the very definition of the Bill Of Goods (i.e., not the goods).
When a good is "free", someone still has to do the actual work. Say the procedure used to cost $450k. Well, it still costs $450k. All those Twitter buddies who were retweeting your sad, sad story? Yeah, they're still not paying for it, they've moved on to some new offence against social justice. Instead some bureaucrat - whose boss has been told to cut costs - is overseeing your case. Oh, he won't say no to you outright, because that's illegal. But he can bottleneck your case.
In this New Caracas, you won't be getting a straight answer that this is what has happened to you. Maybe you'll be seen next week. Maybe next decade. That depends on a lot of things. It can help if you've donated to the hospital staff's charity. Or given a nice birthday-present to someone. Or found a powerful friend - better hope all those Twitter contacts weren't just blowing smoke.
So your $450k procedure still will likely cost you something very close to $450k (maybe it could have been $100k back then, but there's been that wait...). The main difference is that you won't be able to talk about it. You'll be living in fear this whole time, because you don't want to lose your spot in line.
All this doesn't help get the Twitter mob get its collective self-righteous "dawww" on, mind. So it gets ignored.
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