This morning, I saw a headline about the increase in walk-in clinics.  According to the article, some doctors are concerned.  These clinics, such as CVS Minute Clinic, don’t offer preventative care, and they don’t offer the same continuity of care that one receives when regularly seeing the same family doctor.  Or that’s the argument.

But they are quick, easily accessible, and relatively inexpensive.  That’s important to people, with or without a regular family doctor, who need care right now.  As one parent put it when talking about care for her children, “For me it’s just knowing that if I can’t get to their pediatrician that I can always come here and get something rolling.”

It all reminded me of some of the work my colleague Katherine Restrepo, Health and Human Services Policy Analyst at the Locke Foundation, has done recently on North Carolina’s Certificate of Need laws.  In both cases, there are questions about increasing the supply of care and the options available to patients.  In both cases, there’s resistance from established providers.  And in both cases, competition has the potential to increase access and lower cost, which is what we all want.

One of the stated aims of Obamacare is to increase access to and affordability of care.  These clinics are a great free market solution for achieving just that.