Atrios identifies the problem with the Republican choice-based ‘vision’ of healthcare:
Well, really, the Republican vision, as slobbered over by cenrtist [sic] David Broder.
In this case, he is visualizing a radically different kind of medical marketplace, in which families armed with specific information about the treatment success and prices of hospitals and doctors can shop at will for the best quality and most affordable care.
We pay doctors to make these decisions for us because most of us haven’t been to medical school. I know this point is simple and obvious and everyone makes it, but as I said before our elite discourse is so fucking stupid.
One of the most ridiculous ideas to come down the pike is the notion that most people, who are woefully ignorant of medicine and biology (e.g., the massive misunderstandings a out antibiotics and infectious disease), will actually make intelligent decisions regarding their own healthcare. In fact, I bet most people would do worse than flipping a coin in many situations. That’s before you get to the roughly twenty percent who are functionally illiterate.
This probably sounds elitist. And you’re right, it is elitist. Because, as Atrios notes, medical doctors are part of an elite group of people who have extensive experience and training in medicine, which most people lack. While trying to ‘puzzle out’ your healthcare treatment options isn’t quite as stupid as trying to puzzle out how to build a nuclear reactor, it’s still pretty stupid.
Note: There are many more reasons why Leavitt’s visions are stupid; I’m picking on this one, but feel free to add more in the comments.