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A canard much beloved of the single-payor crowd holds that the free market doesn’t work for health care. Apparently, Walmart and its customers didn’t get the news. As this NYT article points out, the prescription program introduced last year by that much-maligned retailer has been so successful that it is now being expanded:
Walmart said this morning it was expanding its $4-a-month generic drug program, adding about seven new compounds including generic versions of the widely used heart medication Coreg and the anti-fungal drug Lamisil.
Now, why is Walmart doing that? Altruism? Nope. The company is trying to lure customers away from its competition. And, to prevent that, its competitors have introduced similar programs. Thus, free market competition is benefiting the patient with lower prices and holding down health care inflation:
Government economists recently credited those pricing plans with contributing to a slowdown of inflation in the Consumer Price Index for prescription drugs.
This is what always happens when the free market is allowed operate unimpeded by government apparatchiks and idiotic regulations. The market will likewise solve many of health care’s most intractable problems—if we give it a chance.