A Conversation on Health Insurance with John C. Goodman [podcast episode #02]
On this episode of Eye to Eye, I had the opportunity to interview John C. Goodman, an economist and a leading proponent for greater freedom in health care. We discussed a variety of issues surrounding health insurance.
One point he made that I found particularly illuminating was his attitude towards the possibility, on a free market, of being charged higher premiums when you have higher expected medical costs. Most people would consider this a flaw of the free market (charging higher risk individuals higher premiums is severely restricted under Obamacare), but according to Dr. Goodman, we should view this as a good thing. Listen to the podcast to hear his reason why.
Another subject we discussed is why health insurance is so controlled when other types of insurance, such as life insurance, are left relatively free. Dr. Goodman mentioned the role of pressure groups such as the American Medical Association in suppressing market forces.
I suspect an additional factor was at play, which the AMA surely cashed in on: people’s underlying moral views. A common view is that it’s immoral to pursue profit in the field of medicine and that health care is not a good to be earned but a right. These kinds of views are incompatible with a free market and have surely contributed to the growth of government in medicine.
Some of the other topics Dr. Goodman discusses in the podcast include:
- His view of the most problematic government interventions in health insurance
- How Obamacare will impact the health insurance market
- If we’ve ever had a free market in health insurance
- Why health insurance looks nothing like other types of insurance (e.g., auto, homeowners, life), which work relatively well
- How our health care system compares to those of other countries
Dr. Goodman is president of the National Center for Policy Analysis and a research fellow at the Independent Institute. He is most recently the author of Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. He provides daily commentary on his blog.