Dr. Arthur Caplan is the director of the Center for Bioethics and Emmanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is arguably the most famous living bioethicist. Unfortunately, Professor Caplan apparently knows little about economics, for the comments attributed to him in the article betray extreme economic ignorance. Caplan stupid quote #1: "We don't want our doctors to be frazzled or inattentive, which has happened by unleashing market forces with inadequate resources." Caplan stupid quote #2: "But I'd hope we could create a system where the doctor could talk to me for more than a minute without a surcharge."
Westley skewers Caplan's economic ignorance by naming the true culprits in the fascist United States healthcare scheme. The real criminals include the onerous regulatory state, socialization of the cost of medical services, the medical cartel constructed by the United States government and the American Medical Association, licensure laws, and the trial lawyer cult. Dr. Caplan is seemingly oblivious to this truth.
Frankly, however, a plumbline libertarian does not expect a person who has served as the Chair of the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group, the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability, and the Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning and as a member of the special advisory panel to the National Institute of Mental Health on human experimentation on vulnerable subjects, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses, and the special advisory committee to the International Olympic Committee on genetics and gene therapy to understand the fundamentals of economics.
Libertarian Bioethics Blog idea alert! Surely the brilliant Dr. Caplan accepts birthday gifts. Lessons for the Young Economist by Robert Murphy is the perfect choice.