Prominent Conservative talk-radio personality Erick Erickson published an editorial in today's New York Times, laying out the Conservative case to not just "repeal" Obamacare - but "utterly abolish" it. What does Erickson mean by that? And that is the fatal misunderstanding, delusion if you will, that underpins pretty much all Conservative thinking on Healthcare. Free-market competition will not make healthcare affordable. It will not reduce the cost of healthcare. Erickson's idea is flawed on a number of grounds. The first of which goes to the heart of economics: The goal of the free-market is not to lower prices. The goal of the supplier in a free-market is this: Maximize profits. Nobody goes into business with the goal of selling products and services as cheaply as possible. Conservatives seem to think that providing healthcare is like making smartphones or PCs. It's not. And in actual fact, too much "free market competition" is precisely the reason mobile phone service in the United States is so much more costly than it is in most of Western Europe. Too many competing networks results in duplication of infrastructure. And that is one of the things driving high healthcare costs in the United States. Too many competing hospitals, too many competing MRI machines. And with all that excess capacity, investors, doctors, and patients inevitably find a way to use it - often in ways that are ultimately wasteful and ineffective. There are many more fatal flaws in the Conservative argument for a "free market" aproach to healthcare: The fundamental asymmetry of information between buyers and sellers. The fact that healthcare spending has virtually no relationship to individual choice (no one decides they are going to undergo Chemotherapy or cardiac surgery just for fun.) Until Conservatives abandon this dangerous delusion, we are doomed to a situation where a growing percentage of our population lives under the imminent threat of economic disaster.