Exploring the High Costs of Healthcare

This is an extraordinary video on the problem of U.S. healthcare costs. The extraordinary command of the data is compelling. However, it is the interwoven economic theory that wobbles too much for me. To wit, at the 5:11 mark of this video, John Green advocates for centralized negotiation with artificial hip manufacturers to reward them with a "crap ton" of revenue [read: monopoly] in exchange for greatly reduced costs and quality.

These benefits would be assured by the threat that non-performance would mean losing the contract and the business would then go to another manufacturer. My question: In a system that makes medical devices a government-granted monopoly, what is the likelihood that there would be any number of alternative companies in the future able to remain in business and direct investment toward R&D for innovative advances? Answer: None. Monopoly destroys more than choice; it kills innovation.

Still, this video serves as a superb foundation for the dialogue necessary to understand the dynamics of healthcare. Its framework would readily translate to explore another runaway industry, higher education.

#johngreen #healthcare

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