Thursday, July 30, 2009

Health Care Solved - It's Because We're Rich

It seems like all I hear talked about is how American health care is broken, that is in between reports on Michael Jackson (if you just came out of a coma he died recently). The argument usually goes something like because Americans pay more than Europeans for health care, and are less healthy the American health system is broken. Okay so it's expensive! I get that. So how are we going to fix it?

First, lets find out what is causing the costs to increase and maybe we can fix it. Kenneth Arrow, a Nobel Prize winning economist explained why Americans pay more in these terms:
The basic reason why health costs increased is that health care is a good thing! Because today there is a lot more you can do! Consider all these expenses that are diagnostic. Cat scans, X-rays, MRIs and now the proton-powered whatever-it-is. Something that is the size of a football field, cost $50 million, and has all sorts of diagnostic powers. A lot of these technologies clearly reveal things that would not be revealed otherwise. There's no question about it. Diagnostics have improved. Technology has improved. You know, sending things through your blood stream to help in operations, instead of cutting you open. It's incredible. But these things are costly.
Oh wait. We are paying more because there has been technological change, which is a a good thing, but it is costly. And I thought it was all those evil doctors who want to remove your tonsils because they can get reimbursed more. Well that changes everything.

To contain costs we need to stop innovation, and one way to do that is to make Americans poorer. We could model ourselves off of poorest Africa. That would insure there was no innovation. And that would solve the problem with America's health care system costs. After all we are no healthier given all this innovation so why pursuit it? Plus given the government's operatus modi, we'll have this problem solved in nothing flat.

1 comment:

Seare said...

good point mike. one of the big flaws that king obama and his cronies are putting out there is comparing healthcare premium increase with inflation. what they don't take into consideration is advances in healthcare technology. who would want to be treated for cancer or cardiac disease with the technology of 15 years ago.