Thursday, July 23

The Atlantic’s Virginia Postrel described her own personal odyssey with expensive cancer treatments and how, under one instance of nationalized medicine, she’d have a lot lower odds of being alive today. She then took the time to respond to a number readers’ letters about her article and the result are two pieces that illustrate a lot of the contradictions in health care, and highlight some of the less discussed points, such as the fact the United States, for all it’s unsystematic and “costly” nature, tends to produce the great majority of innovation in medical service and technology.

Which ever “side” of the healthcare debate you are on, whether you think healthcare is a right or a privilege, or something else,  in practice, “healthcare” is an amalgamation of products (drugs, devices, etc) and services (diagnoses, surgeries, etc), and the economic principles of goods and services apply to healthcare just as they do with other goods and services.

Read her original article first and then her response to readers.