In what has turned out to be rather more involved than we originally imagined, we have been examining the CNN.com article "Why health care competition won't work," written by GWU professor Amitai Etzioni, and considering its singular brand of nonsense and illogic that allows us to declare it 2011's Most Moronic MSM Article.
Thus far, we've seen how Prof. Etzioni thinks that Americans are just too dumb to pick their own medical care, and indeed really shouldn't be allowed to make decisions on anything important that they're not experts in. By this logic, the Soviet Union irresponsibly provided far too much liberty since even its own unfortunate citizens were allowed to buy their own food and clothes without holding degrees in nutrition or fashion - and certainly both food and clothing are essential to human life, are they not? Particularly in Siberia.
Yet at the very end of his piece, Prof. Etzioni makes a closing statement which utterly destroys everything he's said before:
...Calling for more competition in health care may gain a presidential candidate some votes, but it cannot be relied upon to make for a higher quality and lower cost health care system. Patients will have to rely on physicians they trust for guidance -- and second opinions from other physicians -- and on guidance provided by not-for-profit hospitals, especially those like Mayo where the doctors are salaried and hence their income is not affected by how many procedures they carry out or how many patients they rush to see. [emphasis added]
Gee, Prof, ya think? Who would ever have thought to consult physicians they trust, or specialists without a financial interest in a particular treatment! Perhaps we could call this a "second opinion" as he suggests?
Does Prof. Etzioni think Americans blithely buy used cars from that honest-looking fellow in the checkered jacket whose vehicles were exclusively driven by elderly ladies to church? Does he truly believe each and every one of us, save his own august self, were born yesterday?
Of course we get second opinions all the time - about our medical care as about everything else. We talk to our friends to find a physician we can trust, just as for a lawyer, car mechanic, plumber, or electrician. Failures by any of these can lead to an unpleasant death; as free Americans, we're well equipped to weigh the risks, obtain as much information as seems justified, and decide what to do. Prof. Etzioni even tells us exactly how to do it, in case we hadn't already figured it out.
It is for precisely this reason, as he so eloquently explains, that full and open competition in all aspects of medical care - buying insurance, picking a doctor, choosing a hospital, deciding on a treatment - will in fact work in every possible way.
It will bring about higher quality, as word gets 'round what works and where.
It will lower prices, as has happened in every single other aspect of our economy. It's even happened in medical care too, in those areas not covered by insurance: laser eye surgeries and boobjobs, which you have to pay for yourself, have plummeted in cost and skyrocketed in quality over the past few decades - not without the occasional fiasco, but the improvement overall is plain.
It will even extend better service to the poor. The cheapest Hyundai bought by today's fry-flipper is a far safer, more comfortable, more reliable care than the solid middle-class Chevy of 1950, thanks to competition and innovation.
All that's needed for competition to work, in healthcare as in everything else, is for us to actually try it. And the very first step is to get government and degreed morons like Prof. Etzioni out of our way.