Monthly Archives July 2008

RATIONING AND SUICIDE

Like all finite goods and services, health care must be rationed. The only real choice we have involves the mechanism by which the rationing is carried out. Thus, the health care reform debate revolves around the following question: What is the most efficient and humane mechanism for rationing  medical services? It will be no surprise to regular [...]

HEALTH CARE: WHO’S REALLY FOR CHANGE?

There’s only one presidential candidate promoting serious change in national health care policy—-and his name isn’t Barack Obama. John Goodman does a good job of expanding on this point in the WSJ: If you listen only to presidential campaign rhetoric, you might conclude that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama proposed bold new changes for our health-care system, while [...]

MCCAIN IS JUST BETTER ON HEALTH CARE

I have, of course, made this point before. But it bears repeating as we approach the election, which is less than 100 days away (Yikes!). Michael Tanner of The Cato Institute does a good job of explaining why McCain’s plan is superior to that of his opponent: Senator McCain’s proposal is far from perfect, but from a free-market [...]

MEDICAL DECISIONS & THIRD-PARTY PAYMENT

Last week, at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, one of John McCain’s health care advisors (Al Hubbard) pointed out the following: When a third-party pays for a service or product—we consume it as if it was free…It’s interesting, if you would think about, the employers rather than providing health [...]

ER CONSPIRACY THEORIES

As I have pointed out many times, a good deal of BS appears in the “news” media relating to health care. Few articles, however, reach the level of irresponsibility achieved yesterday in Slate: Imagine you run a hospital. There are two competing sources for inpatient beds. The first source is patients who come in through direct and [...]

HEALTH REFORM THAT IGNORES THE PATIENT

The primary difference between those who promote market-based health care reform and the people who prefer a government-imposed solution is their respective opinions of the customer’s intelligence. The former believe that patients are capable of critical thinking while the latter think we are too dumb to know what’s good for us. An excellent example of the patients-are-dumb view can be found at Health [...]

OBAMA’S FUZZY HEALTH CARE MATH

Despite implausible claims by Barack Obama and his cadre of policy advisors, it’s pretty obvious that Obamacare will be VERY expensive. Here’s what the NYT says about the combination of tax credits and subsidies that Obama’s plan envisions: The subsidies are expensive, estimated at well over $100 billion. Other components of the Obama plan also bear up-front costs, like [...]

NICE NOT SO NICE TO ARTHRITIS PATIENTS

I spent last week cycling along the Thames, visiting various towns upriver from London. The Brits were unfailingly pleasant. Wonderful people. Which is why this story from the BBC really pisses me off: People with rheumatoid arthritis should have access to a particular class of drugs limited, NHS advisers say … The National Institute for Health and [...]

SENATE SCREWS POOR & MINORITY PATIENTS

As expected, the Senate has gutted Medicare Advantage, effectively killing the last hope of market-based Medicare reform. The “news” media, the AMA, and even some normally sensible medical bloggers are spinning this act of stupidity as a victory for beleaguered physicians over mean-spirited Republicans and insurance company robber barons. But the physicians didn’t win a victory. All they got was a temporary stay of execution. The reimbursement [...]

THE CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL COVERAGE

Michael Cannon believes that advocates of universal coverage are driven less by serious policy considerations than by a species of religious conviction. He provides the following quote from Jonathan Cohn as proof: To believe in universal health care is to believe that we can do more and do better, all at once — that it is possible to have hospitals [...]