Monday, August 24, 2009

Healthcare Incentives

In an interesting and thoughtful article in The Atlantic, David Goldhill examines American healthcare and proposes a solution.


John said...

This piece was linked at The Health Care Blog when it appeared, one of many rational alternatives to the train wreck we now call "health care" (others recommend calling it "disease care").

"...replace our current web of employer- and government-based insurance with a single program of catastrophic insurance open to all Americans—indeed, all Americans should be required to buy it—with fixed premiums based solely on age. This program would be best run as a single national pool, without underwriting for specific risk factors, and would ultimately replace Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance."

Elegant but politically somewhere in dreamland. Far less extreme moves have been cobbled together in H.R.3200 and it has been lacerated over the last few weeks, left bleeding to death before Congress reconvenes.

Dr. Gawande, referred to in the opening paragraph, is but one of the many smart people who have offered meaningful input, only to be torn apart or ignored altogether by the broadcast media. The ideas are too boring for television unless pushed through a political filter, red meat for bloviating gasbags.

The Atlantic piece is very close to single-payer but that globally adopted system was never at the table from the start. I'm getting more pessimistic about meaningful change as the days go by.

Michael Wade said...

Thanks, John!