An important lesson that has been lost on the health care market is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL – “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”).
Scarcity is the basic fact of economic life and it affects health care just as much as any other product. As such, it’s important that we, as economic actors, direct resources to their highest valued uses. By getting a heart scan, you prevent yourself from doing something else: perhaps you have to forego a mammogram, or a gym membership or spending time with your family. Deciding whether any medical test should be taken is best left to those with the best understanding of the costs and benefits: the patient.