• Train Wreck Ahead

      If you think paying for healthcare is complex now, wait 'til next year. In this week's syndicated column, I discuss Obamacare and our already over-regulated healthcare system.

      Our old health care system was already a bureaucratic and regulatory nightmare. It had 16,000 different codes for different ailments. Under our new, "improved" system, there will be more than a 100,000.

      Government likes to think regulations can account for every possibility. Injured at a chicken coop? The code for that will be Y9272. Fall at an art gallery? That means you are a Y92250. There are three different codes for walking into a lamppost - depending on how often you've walked into lampposts. This is supposed to give government a more precise way to reimburse doctors for treating people and alert us to surges in injuries that might inspire further regulation.

      On Government-Planned World, this makes sense. But it will be no more successful than Soviet central planning.

      Compare all that to a tiny part of American medicine that is still free-market: Lasik eye surgery.

      Its quality has improved, while costs dropped 25 percent. Lasik (and cosmetic surgery) are specialties that provide a better consumer experience because they are a market.

      Patients pay directly, so doctors innovate constantly to please them. Lasik doctors even give patients their cellphone numbers.

      The rest of my syndicated column here.