John Stossel on Health Care: The Wisdom of Markets (and Hayek)

By July 24, 2009Health Care

ABC news commentator John Stossel, writing in Reason Online, “The Arrogance of Health Care Reform,” asserts, “It’s crazy for a group of mere mortals to try to design 15 percent of the U.S. economy.”

Like the politicians, most people are oblivious to F.A. Hayek’s insight that the critical information needed to run an economy—or even 15 percent of one—doesn’t exist in any one place where it is accessible to central planners. Instead, it is scattered piecemeal among millions of people. All those people put together are far wiser and better informed than Congress could ever be. Only markets—private property, free exchange, and the price system—can put this knowledge at the disposal of entrepreneurs and consumers, ensuring the system will serve the people and not just the political class.

This is no less true for medical care than for food, clothing, and shelter. It is profit-seeking entrepreneurship that gave us birth control pills, robot limbs, Lasik surgery, and so many other good things that make our lives longer and more pain free.

Stossel has a new blog at

(Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.)

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Larry says:

    Karl (as in Marx?), if you think that the free market currently runs the health care in this country then you are sorely mistaken. And what exactly is your argument? The health care industry might not be perfect, but if you’re going to make a post ranting on Stossel, then at least try to make a point or show some figures illustrating how a government monopoly would be better (ever been to a DMV?).

  • Karl says:

    Thank God Stossel cleared that up. The markets are doing such a great job with health care right now it doesn’t need to be touched. Everything is fine here folks, nothing to see. If free markets really had their way with healthcare every sick or pour person would be without it. Do you agree or do you think insurance companies, hospitals and doctors would find it in their hearts to treat the less fortunate?

    NAM quotes Stossel like he’s some sage. If you really believe things that he says you should close down and ship yourselves to China after all, Stossel recently told us that we don’t need those “Dirty manufacturing jobs”. Remember? Or only when it’s convenient?

    Cavuto asked Stossel, “People say manufacturing jobs are leaving. What do you say?”
    “Bye!” said Stossel, waving at the camera. “There’s nothing wonderful about manufacturing jobs. I think if you look at what we want for our kids, that should answer the question. We don’t want them working in a factory where the work is underpaid, I mean, is very hard, it may be uncomfortable. … We want them taking jobs as engineers, as biologists. We think the services jobs are good for our kids. I think it’s great if people in other countries want to manufacture things and we can just import it and pay for it with our service jobs.”

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