Why not subscribe?

Friday, September 25, 2009

If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

Via Marginal Revolution, I read this marvelous article,

If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care .  

 One of the remarkable things about this article is that it makes you appreciate the airline industry, which is at least trying to make a little money while getting you somewhere efficiently.

One of the oddities of the health care market is that people think they are getting better care if they get more tests, when this may just indicate that their doctor is a a weak diagnostician or has financial incentives to test more.  This is different than the airline industry: nonstop flights are preferred. Nobody thinks the airline does a better job if they route you through Atlanta, Dallas and O'Hare as they fly you from Detroit to St. Louis.

But there is one thing both industries have in common. The people who use the service (airline passengers, patients) tend to care less about price when somebody else is paying (traveling on business, good health insurance).