From Ron Bailey, the best piece on health care I’ve seen all year:

What would the results look like? It’s impossible to predict all the specifics, but here’s one partial vision of what markets might bring us.
The typical American might purchase high-deductible insurance policies that cover expensive treatments for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, as well as the catastrophic consequences of accidents. Coverage would also include expensive treatments such as heart surgery, organ transplants, dialysis, and radiation therapy. In addition, we’d be able to buy health status insurance that would guarantee that we could purchase insurance at reasonable prices in the future.

For a hint of what free market medical shopping might be like, check out the California government’s admittedly clunky website for comparing the costs of common surgeries. Browsing there reveals that the price of a heart valve replacement varies from $72,000 to $368,000, while angioplasty runs from $9,000 to $204,000. Other sites, such as, enable consumers to shop for relatively routine procedures such as colonoscopies, laparoscopic hernia repair, and MRI scans. A colonoscopy in Washington, D.C., for instance, could cost anywhere from $580 to $1,386.

Opponents of markets in health care worry that patients in extremis will be in no position to make such decisions. But the slow progress of the kind of chronic illnesses that are driving up health care costs, such as cancer and coronary artery disease, allows consumers time to shop around for suitable treatments. Prostate cancer patients can evaluate and choose between options such as watchful waiting, various radiation therapies, surgery, and, soon, a new biotech immunological treatment. Information gathering would take no more time than the current wait for a follow-up appointment.
As medical care becomes ever more affordable, the government could dismantle its medical entitlement programs–Medicaid, SCHIP, and Medicare–and instead provide vouchers directly to the poor, who could then purchase health insurance and health care in the private market.

Read the whole thing.
This is where we’re eventually going to end up; as with Communism, the only question is how much misguided socialist failure we have to endure first before people wake up. The central lesson of the 20th century is that you cannot wring efficiencies from an economy using central planning, and the effort only creates misery, poverty, and chronic shortages.