Saturday, September 26, 2009

Health care

This is the best article on health care reform I've ever read:

How American Health Care Killed My Father, in The Atlantic.

It's big (six long pages), but it's very accessible, and spot on.

An excerpt:
I’m a Democrat, and have long been concerned about America’s lack of a health safety net. But based on my own work experience, I also believe that unless we fix the problems at the foundation of our health system—largely problems of incentives—our reforms won’t do much good, and may do harm. To achieve maximum coverage at acceptable cost with acceptable quality, health care will need to become subject to the same forces that have boosted efficiency and value throughout the economy. We will need to reduce, rather than expand, the role of insurance; focus the government’s role exclusively on things that only government can do (protect the poor, cover us against true catastrophe, enforce safety standards, and ensure provider competition); overcome our addiction to Ponzi-scheme financing, hidden subsidies, manipulated prices, and undisclosed results; and rely more on ourselves, the consumers, as the ultimate guarantors of good service, reasonable prices, and sensible trade-offs between health-care spending and spending on all the other good things money can buy.
Unfortunately, I don't think that our political system is capable of effecting the type of fundamental change that is necessary to really improve the situation. But if it were, this guy has the right idea.


amanda said...

yeah, it's kind of frustrating.

I See Badgers said...

wo, nice article.