Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Economics 101, in Which I Prove that Car Markets Do Not Exist

I begin to see now why the Catallarchs sometimes got so frustrated with some of my initial comments way back when I first started posting there. See, I've been having this discussion with some of John Edwards' supporters about health care and the free market. I initially just tried to offer a suggestion that, I think, was fully in line with the spirit of Edwards' proposal, but that worked rather more in conjunction with the market. Mostly my proposal is that the idea to create Health MarketsTM is silly since we already have a health market. Some however, have chosen to dispute that fact. Here's an example:

In a Health Market, the premiums are collected by the health market, not by the individual insurance company.
* Is that the case in every state today?

In a Health Market, nobody can be turned away for a pre-existing condition, being too old, or having something in their health history that indicates they are a higher risk to insure.
* Is that the case in every state today?

In a Health Market, insurance companies must meet a benchmark standard in coverage to participate.
* Is that the case in every state today?

In a Health Market, private insurers must compete against a public plan set up on the same lines as Medicare.
* Is that the case in every state today?

In a Health Market, the Health Market consolidates billing to reduce the costs imposed on health service providers by a blizzard of claims forms
* Is that the case in every state today?

In a Health Market, the information about the relationship between treatments and quality of care is public information available to support research into providing more effective health care, and not private information available to better determine who should be denied coverage.
* Is that the case in every state today?

In order for the claim to be accurate that "Health Markets Already Exist", each and every one of those features must be present in each and every state in the union.

However, I rather think that no state in the Union has a full-flegged Health Market, and most people in the country have nothing at all like it available.


Interesting. No, it's more than interesting. It's fantastic. Watch what we can do now!
  • In a Car Market, the premiums are collected by the car market, not by the individual car dealership.

* Is that the case in every state today?

  • In a Car Market, nobody can be turned away even if they are a serious risk to take the car without actually paying enough to cover the cost of that car.

* Is that the case in every state today?

  • In a Car Market, car dealerships must meet a benchmark standard in order to participate.

* Is that the case in every state today?

  • In a Car Market, private car dealerships must compete against a public car dealership, one that's just like Carmax, only run by the DMV.

* Is that the case in every state today?

  • In a Car Market, the Car Market consolidates billing to reduce the costs imposed on car providers by a blizzard of different ordering forms.

* Is that the case in every state today?

  • In a Car Market, the information about the relationship between cars and quality of driving is public information available to support research into providing better cars, and not private information available to better determine to whom a car dealership should actually sell a car.

* Is that the case in every state today?

In order for the claim to be accurate that "Car Markets Already Exist," each and every one of those features must be present in each and every state in the union.

However, I rather think that no state in the Union has a full-flegged Car Market, and most people in the country have nothing at all like it available.

And you know, that's really just too bad, 'cause I was thinking of getting a car. Whatever will I do with no car markets available? Maybe I'll just head up to Canada. I hear that they have universal car coverage up there. They're all 1993 Chevy Cavaliers, require a 6 month wait, and require a 46% deduction from every paycheck. But, hey, they're free!

UPDATE: Corrected the embarrassingly bad grammar mistake in the last paragraph.

3 Comments:

Blogger Arthur Parry said...

Nah, I already have a car. And I'm not sick either, so who cares about health care?

But I am hungry. What about universal single-payer lunch care? It's outrageous that those selfish jerks in Washington actually expect a working stiff like me to shell out his own money for his own lunch, what with the failure of lunch markets and everything.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Hi Joe- i thought I'd stop by for a minute and add my two cents. I'm not really seeing the argument about Car Markets. For one thing, they are simply defining a term as far as I can see and that term- Health Market, so long as it's not being bandied about as the exclusive definition of market activity for health care- seems innocuous. Creating an analogy for cars just doesn't seem relevant. Anyway though, that's not really what I want to say...

I guess I shouldn't be disappointed, but this:

"They're all 1993 Chevy Cavaliers, require a 6 month wait, and require a 46% deduction from every paycheck. But, hey, they're free!"

Makes me cringe coming from a guy I respect (i.e. you.) Drawing the analogy out point by point (and obviously it's jocular, but tis' not the sort of joke one would make if one didn't believe in the basic message I suppose) you seem to be critiquing the quality, delay, and cost of the health care in Canada.

Canadian health indicators are significantly higher than the US', and insofar as one can assess quality that seems like a pretty reasonable way to do it. Furthermore, if the delays in getting certain types of health care were anything more than an inconvenience then one would expect them to show up in the statistics for health indicators.

The cost of course is simply demonstrated- people in the US pay nearly double.

PS- it's also worth noting that- even though I don't think it's a very good example- a 93 Chevy Cavalier would sound good to a lot of people in this country.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Joe Miller said...

Matt,

Yes, I know that the final comment is unfair. The Canadian system actually has much to recommend it. And the fact is that Canadians are, on average, healthier than Americans.

I was going for humor and not so much for a real criticism of Canada.

it's also worth noting that- even though I don't think it's a very good example- a 93 Chevy Cavalier would sound good to a lot of people in this country.

I'm not all that much for nationalism, but hearing things like this makes me seriously glad to live below the 48th. ;)

10:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home