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Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One by Thomas Sowell

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Chapter 3
The Economics of Medical Care
The high cost of medical care has been a recurrent theme in countries around the world. In the United States, medical expenses absorb about one-sixth of the total annual output of the economy. Medical care is one of many goods and services that can be provided in a wide variety of ways. At one time, it was common for sick people simply to pay doctors and buy medicine individually with their own money. Today, both the medicines and the medical care are often paid for by third parties through either political or market institutions— that is, either by insurance companies or government agencies, or both, with or without some portion being paid by the individual patient. Only 13 percent of Americans’ medical ...

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