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Ep. 44 Economic vs. Political Means to Healthcare: A Conversation with Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist

Economic knowledge should not be the sole province of technical experts, but it is—and we seem to accept the way it is.  The price we pay for this ignorance is that most people—including doctors—can easily fall prey to the political class and to the technocrats whose economic theory is generally far from sound.

Our guest on the show is Jeff Deist, President the Mises Institute, an educational institution that promotes a very noble tradition of economic theory and political thought.  Prior to taking the helm of the Mises Institute, Mr. Deist was chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul for many years and, in that capacity, gained special insights into healthcare “sausage-making” in Washington DC.


Jeff Deist. Mises Institute Website, Twitter and Podcast


Michel Accad.  Undue Aggregation Isn’t Just for Economists. (Mises Institute Blog)


Watch the episode on our YouTube channel.


  1. Philip Kruseman on 11/19/2018 at 10:12 PM

    As a practicing ICU/Intensivist PA, I have followed the trends of modern medicine for years and agree wholeheartedly with the statements in the podcast. However, I would disagree with the assertion that most doctors have examined the empirical evidence that a single health care system is the most effective and efficient method of delivery. Albeit not enough time to address that issue at hand, remember that the AMA and most doctors 50 to 60 years ago opposed government-run health and SS/Medicare are intrusion. Many doctors today and colleagues alike are simply ignorant of economics work. I think it has more to do with group-think and only one paradigm or way of thinking.

    • Anish Koka on 11/20/2018 at 7:25 PM

      Agree with you Philip. I have to do a better job communicating if you were left thinking that I think single payer is the answer. It is sad to see that most physicians have bought into the idea of single payer as some answer to the health systems ills. It is one thing to pass legislation that gives health care to all, and quite another to actually deliver on that. We addressed the question of single-payer systems in several prior episodes, notably in Ep. 24 Making the Case for Medicare-4-All (with Adam Gaffney, a prominent champion of single payer), Ep. 22 Free Markets in Healthcare: Objecting to the Objections (with Roman Zamishka, a free-market supporter who nevertheless defends a single payer solution), and Ep. 38 The Case Against Single-Payer Healthcare (with Sally Pipes, a highly articulate opponent of government-run healthcare).

  2. Roland on 11/19/2018 at 11:32 PM

    The hosts and guest seemed to struggle a bit with the question of how the market would handle expensive treatments for rare conditions. Seems to me that insurance might play an important role. Of course I mean real insurance, not the government-hobbled mixture of welfare and pre-paid services that we now have in the U.S. Perhaps parents-to-be could purchase a policy that would pay for treatment if it turned out their child was born with a condition that afflicts small numbers of babies. Likewise, individuals could buy policies early in life that would cover treatment should they develop ailments that required expensive treatments. Making this type of risk-spreading work is what actuaries do.

    • Michel Accad on 11/20/2018 at 12:26 AM

      The question of whether health is insurable interests me. I came to the conclusion that it is not. Even “purely private” health insurance is not workable and is health insurance is not a product that has emerged spontaneously on the free market. There is a distinction between insuring health and insuring other goods that is not well appreciated. Non MDs assume that disease are purely objective states of affair that can be ascertained independently and actuarially. They are not. I wrote briefly about it in an article last year, FYI:

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