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Ep. 45 Michel Accad, MD, Leads Bob on a Critical Analysis of Kenneth Arrow’s Health Care Paper

Michel Accad practices cardiology and general internal medicine in San Francisco, and holds a part-time clinical faculty appointment at the University of California San Francisco.This episode continues the discussion that Bob had with Dr. Michel Accad back in ep. 43. There, Bob reviewed the development of concepts like “efficiency” and “market failure,” so that now he and Michel (in the current episode) could understand the pioneering 1963 article from Kenneth Arrow on health care economics. Specifically, Arrow outlines reasons that (in his mind) a free market in health care and health insurance won’t work very well.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


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  2. Lysander Spooner on 07/23/2019 at 9:55 AM

    Another great episode.

    Just one quibble. Michel suggested that health insurance would not emerge in a free market because people would not voluntarily join a scheme with an explicit redistributive goal. But surely the rich in the 19th century who paid for health care at places like the Mayo Clinic knew very well that services were provided for free to the poor. Part of the decision to patronise such a clinic must have been because of the feeling that it was a partly charitable enterprise.

    Think of the many businesses in our own time that promote themselves on the basis that if you buy their products then a proportion of the profits will be spent giving similar products away.

    See Toms Shoes at, for an example. I thought they just gave away a pair of shoes for every pair bought from them but a quick glance at the website shows that they seem to support a wide range of causes.

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