Many people in the US dream of hitting the lottery, and of all the freedom the jackpot would allow. In Canada, people dream of hitting the lottery too, but their aspirations are more down-to-earth … like finally getting a doctor. Fox Business News highlights the monthly contest in Norwood that determines who gets to access a family-practice physician, which only is possible because of Norwood’s off-the-books deal to have the town’s doctor add people at all (via the Peoples Press Collective):

Why aren’t there more family-practice physicians? Canada’s provincial governments had to cut their spending on health care, which drove the doctors out of the system. Thanks to a lack of competition, no other supply can come to market, which eventually leads to this kind of rationing. A lottery is only slightly more arbitrary than any other bureaucratic mechanism.

Stick around for the discussion after the report, which hits at the heart of the matter. Price opacity drives unnecessary use of services and products. The best way to get real reform is to end comprehensive insurance policies that interfere with the price mechanism of the market and put insurance in its natural role — as a bulwark against catastrophic loss. Read my AIP column for a lengthier discussion of that today.