Monthly Archives February 2007

Health Care: Who Buys and Who Pays? (II)

SK also gets it: The big problem today with health care is the complete disconnect between the consumer and the providers. And his suggestion for reconnecting the consumer with the cost of the product is pretty sound, at least in theory: One approach that makes sense is a two pronged non-taxed HSA (like the 401(k)) [...]

Health Care: Who Buys and Who Pays? (I)

What’s wrong with health care in the United States? Why has its cost increased so much faster than the CPI? By way of answering that question, Star Parker defers to the wisdom of Milton Friedman: Friedman explained that the problem is that the person buying health care is most often not who is paying for [...]

Tilting at Health Care Windmills

Brenda Bee makes it clear than one need not be a health care wonk to see some pretty serious flaws in the system. Although she makes a common error when she states that the uninsured can’t afford health care coverage (my post on that subject can be found here), she asks an excellent question about [...]

Price Controls for Medicine?

In his most recent column, John Stossel makes a point that should be obvious to anyone with pretensions to economic literacy: In the real world, prices are set by supply and demand … When the government uses its muscle to force prices to sub-market levels, the drug companies will develop fewer life-saving drugs. In other [...]

Prescription Drugs Drub Critics

As Robert George suggests, it appears quite likely that a lot of soi-disant sophisticates at both extremes of the political spectrum may well have been wrong about the much-maligned Medicare Part-D. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, however. It should have been obvious that anything so consistently reviled by the wing nuts couldn’t be [...]

The High Cost of U.S. Health Care

It’s interesting that so many bloggers and journalists have ignored the primary finding of the Mckinsey study: MGI found that the overriding cause of high U.S. healthcare costs is the failure of the intermediation system—payors, employers, and government—to provide sufficient incentives to patients and consumers to be value conscious in their demand decisions, and to [...]

Krugman Gets It Wrong on the Edwards “Plan”

By affixing his seal of approval on the ridiculous Edwards health care plan, Krugman continues the project of undermining his own credibility as an economist. If a Republican had produced the identical document, he would have rightly denounced it as a semi-coherent hodgepodge of conflicting objectives. Indeed, he has criticized California’s universal health care scheme [...]

Obama on Health Care

As Betsy points out, most of Barack Obama’s effusions are content free. He speaks in bromides. Nowhere is this more evident than in his “positions? regarding health care. Obama’s web site includes a page entitled Creating a Health Care System that Works that begins by repeating debunked myths involving the uninsured and medical bankruptcies, then [...]

Dumb and Dumber: Health Care Reform in Massachusetts and California

Although, as this piece points out, “Romneycare? is not as bad as “Arnoldcare,? that’s a little like saying a broken hand is not as bad as a broken arm. The reality is that these plans involve massive unfunded mandates for employers and providers of health care, mandates that will add significantly to health care inflation [...]

The Perversity of Employer-Paid Insurance

Tax-subsidized, employer-provided health insurance is a case study in perverse incentives, and this piece should be required reading in congress. One of the main drivers of cost increases in our health care system is over-utilization, which is in turn driven by the disconnect between the real and perceived costs of medical care. Employer-provided coverage is [...]