Health Care Cost Fallacies
Tyler Cowen has cheekily been offering up some "health care cost fallacies" that are afflicting reform-minded folk. For instance, he asks if health reformers will agree with the "correct claim" that the "the fiscal outlook is grimmer than before, therefore we should spend less on health care reform than I used to think."
Speaking in my official capacity as a health reformer, the correct claim, I think, is that "the fiscal outlook is grimmer than before, therefore we should agree on more radical health reforms than were previously considered." It was all well and good to deny the government bargaining power (bargaining power that they have in Canada, France, Japan, Germany, etc.) or oppose global budgets when we had money to burn. But with default looming on the horizon, such niceties can no longer be indulged. Indeed, here is something we might call a correct graph, courtesy of the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
That orange line headed heaven-ward? That's our deficit. All those other lines dipping down? That's our deficit if we had the same health care spending per person as France, Germany, Canada, and the UK (all countries, incidentally, with higher life expectancies than our own). You might say, of course, that even radical reform would not bring us down to their health care spending. We could copy France's system wholesale and still pay more for care. You would be right. But such reforms would bring us much closer than we are now. And to flip Cowen's second fallacy, the fact that we cannot match the health care spending of other nations does not obviate the savings we are forgoing because we refuse to embrace their successful models.
Posted by: pghsm | May 18, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: scott1959 | May 18, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AdrianNTierney | May 18, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: davestickler | May 18, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rkinneypa | May 18, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rkinneypa | May 18, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: atlmom1234 | May 18, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.