Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care: An Austrian Rebuttal-Part 3
Gilbert Berdine MD
Part 3 concludes the rebuttal to the argument that health care is special and that markets cannot properly distribute health care. Part 1 was a general discussion of the argument made by Kenneth Arrow. Part 2 focused on the problem of asymmetric information in health care. Part 3 considers the argument that health care is a human right and concludes that it is not. All aspects of health care are composed of scarce resources which cannot be supplied in unlimited quantity upon demand. The belief that health care is a right leads to subsidies which distort the price structure in health care. Rising costs and increasing unaffordability are the inevitable consequences of these subsidies. A health care right becomes an insatiable demand; spending on other aspects of life is crowded out leading to a declining standard of living for those paying for health care. The assumption that health care is a right causes competitive innovation to be replaced by rent seeking behavior particularly the grant of subsidies for very expensive treatments with low benefits.
Keywords: health care economics, health care uncertainty, health care right, health care costs, health care market failure
Article citation: Berdine G. Uncertainty and the welfare economics of medical care: an Austrian rebuttal-part 3. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles 2017; 5(19): 25-29
From: Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX
Reviewer: Robert P Murphy PhD
Conflicts of interest: none
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