Monday, March 22, 2010

Obligatory Health Care Post

I don't have a whole lot to add that hasn't already been said elsewhere. I support the health care reform, though I do think it could have been better. The biggest thing of course is that we're moving to almost universal coverage. I believe this is a necessary, but insufficient, step on the way to affordable health care. After all, every other country spends a smaller amount of GDP on health care than we do and several of these have overall better outcomes on most health measures. Every other comparable nation was also going rapidly in the direction of universal health care by the time our health spending really got out of control in the 90s (this is generalizing, I will have a later post exploring the actual sequencing of this, I do know we were not spending the highest % of GDP in the 1960s but were by the 90s). During the period everyone else was covering more of their people we were covering less. This trend continued until late last night.

My belief is that the main long term trend leading to cost control will be item #5 in this post by Ezra Klein. We're simply not having the debate we need to have if we're going to have a health care system appropriate for a developed nation. Not to even mention one appropriate for our continued status as world hegemon. Now we have the chance to actually have this debate.

Hopefully not this year though, I'm fatigued on the issue.

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