I know these things are meant to be inflammatory (pun intended), but there are some good economic reasons to be concerned about the economics of the healthcare industry:
- Asymmetric Information: there is a gulf of knowledge gap between doctors and patients.
- Agency Issues: often, the person receiving the treatment is not the person paying for the treatment (at least, not directly).
- Captured Regulators: at worst, doctors are meant to be impartial regulators of medication (it’s why they prescribe it); in most cases, you expect them to be on the patient’s side. But their position makes them targets for financial capture by pharmaceutical companies.
- Captured Markets: when it comes to your health, most patients will just do what they’re told.
- Misaligned Incentives: patients want cures, pharmaceutical companies do not (because that would mean the end of revenue streams).