How do markets work?

I encounter reports of lots of people who say that if ObamaCare is repealed, x millions of people will have no health care. How is this so? That the government stopped providing food would not mean that the people would have no food; that the government stopped providing schooling would not mean that people would have no schooling; and so forth. People talk about health care as if it were simply unthinkable that it might be provided through markets, as the bulk of food, housing, clothing, and other basic goods and services are provided.

I used to tell people that if a so-called old-growth tree were cut down, the resident so-called northern spotted owl would fly away and make a nest in a younger tree nearby, rather than stupidly going down with the ship. Likewise, if the government did not distribute health care via a complex, convoluted system of so-called insurance and rigged markets for drugs, doctors’ services, hospital services, and so forth, real markets could handle the provision of these goods. We get food, shelter, and clothing and most other things from (semi) free markets. We could get healthcare services the same way. Dr. Robert Higgs