Thursday, May 29, 2014

Do People Overuse Healthcare When It's Free?

"Take all of these and phone me in the morning."

Here's how the idea was winnowed down to its essence recently by Steven D. Levitt, the economist half of the duo responsible for that popular economics success 'Freakonomics': 'It doesn't take a whole lot of smarts or a whole lot of blind faith in markets to recognize that when you don't charge people for things (including health care), they will consume too much of it.' Levitt's complacent confidence in this idea as it applies to health and medicine prompts us to inquire: Is he right? The answer, according to numerous studies and plenty of empirical evidence, is 'No.'"Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times.

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