I was talking about government run vs private health care with a Canadian friend the other night when, after listening for a bit, another friend chimed in that we were ignoring the doctor monopoly. He was right. In these discussion we typically forget that the medical profession has the oddest and strongest monopoly power in the private sector in the US. Those who are already doctors have ironclad control over who else gets to be a doctor. Meaning they have more control over competition than any other industry I know of. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or a rock-star economist, to realize that limiting the supply of doctors might be why they make so much money, and why we pay so much money, for healthcare services.
Shirley Svorney has been writing about the economics of medical licensing for years. Check out this podcast interview in which she discuss its pernicious effects.