Intentional Communities and On-Site Medical Clinics

I heard a story on the radio a while ago about a health care trend.  Employers are running on-site medical clinics for their employees.  Apparently, when serving a sufficiently large number of people (a few thousand) it is cheaper to run your own clinic than to buy health care on the open market.

It occurred to me that this is also something that intentional communities could do, and not just in the area of health care.  Lots of maintainence services like plumbing and auto repair could be done this way too.

The key point is that capitalist markets add overhead from transaction costs and zero-sum games like advertising.  The cost of just providing the serivce can be small compared to the non-value-added overhead.  I’ve heard that toll roads have this problem too.  The cost of manning toll booths for 30 years is more than the cost of building and maintaing the road.  They could cut the cost in half by just eliminating billing overhead.  It would create the same customer value at lower cost.  Sounds like a win to me.  But then the builder of the road woud have no way to wrangle that value into his own pocket.  In this case, capitalism cannot choose the globally optimal solution.

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