A nice little parable for what ails our healthcare system.
We do not usually buy products or use services for the lowest quality for double the price.
Imagine you and someone from the town nearby are each going out for dinner. You have to go to restaurant A. There, you can only be seated if you have paid a membership fee. You receive a menu with no prices or descriptions of the meal and are served food you didn’t expect and that is barely warm. But the decor is nice and the restaurant has fun commercials on television.
Your neighbor has to go to restaurant B. There, the menu items are described clearly. He can see the prices, and the food that arrives at the table looks like what he ordered. The decor isn’t much to write home about, and there aren’t any commercials.
When restaurant A is all you know, then, well, it is what’s for dinner. But when you learn about restaurant B — and how your neighbor pays less for more — suddenly that cold meatloaf from restaurant A doesn’t cut it.
No one would tolerate such a terrible dining experience at restaurant A, especially not when a perfectly good meal is to be had across town at restaurant B.
In the United States, our experience as health care consumers is a lot like dining at restaurant A — a business that under normal market conditions would likely be closed within a week.