Ross Levatter offers a vision of what truly free market healthcare might look like. It’s radically different from what we have now, but it’s the system I, personally, want to have.
… Many healthcare items–from CTs to cholecystectomies–are clearly priced, and people compare prices and shop for quality as well. You can look up surgeons and radiologists on the Internet, for example, and see what prior customers thought of the quality of their services. Other people choose to use a qualified middleman to recommend a local physician of high quality and reasonable price. Such middlemen advertise their services and list many reasons to use them, including the opportunity to take advantage of volume discounts and to have someone knowledgeable to guide you through the various medical options. Yet others make their own decisions, using the Internet and new software programs, just as they use software to help them make the right tax-paying decisions.
Mayo and Kaiser, among others, take strong advantage of their brand name, which signifies quality, but the competition from many other physicians makes it difficult for them to charge too much additional for “value-added.”