He explains why more government involvement isn’t going to make anything cheaper:
I believe that Econ textbooks say that price controls haven’t worked from Diocletian on. Wrong. They work splendidly. Ask Bausch & Lomb. If you could make over twenty-two bucks on a dime’s worth of salt water, wouldn’t you be in favor of governmental interference in the economy?
Let me explain medicine briefly. It’s an unholy scam. Here in Mexico my wife occasionally gets ear infections. At any pharmacy, we pick up Amoxicillin, 250mg three times a day for ten days. Six bucks.
Recently we were staying in Maryland with friends, and she got an ear ache. Amoxicillin is by prescription only in the US, which means that doctors have a monopoly on ear aches. It was Friday evening. It was either agony until Monday or go to one of those mall-based walk-in clinics, which wanted $150 for the appointment and prescribed $78 in medicines. It’s a scam, pure and simple. Above the level of county government, the US is as corrupt as Mexico could ever be, and it’s mostly legal.
The problem boils down to this: focused interest groups will always have more influence with national politicians than the public. And the more centralized the industry, the easier it is for those interest groups to wield their influence. It is, as Fred describes it, government by looters.