Occam’s Razor and health care
July 11, 2012 Leave a comment
With the recent health decision, Republican have been forced to unleash their vague and generally useless ideas for the “replace” in “repeal and replace.” It’s generally all about paeans to the power of the free market to fix everything. Well, here’s the thing. Let’s start with 2008 OECD health spending per capita (via Kaiser Family Foundation):
Okay, so we’re spending way more. As I’ve discussed many times, it doesn’t makes us any healthier, so I’m not going there again. And we know that all these other countries cover 100% of their populations. Now, here’s what I want to add– percentage of health care spending from public vs. private sector:
So, how is that these “inefficient” largely public-sector based systems are delivering equivalent care to more people for less money? How’s that for the power of free markets in health care? So, here’s your Occam’s razor question: either public sector delivery of health care is actually more efficient than private “free markets” or somehow every other single OECD country is spending less for roughly equivalent outcomes (and often better, as I’ve addressed elsewhere) and yet through some complicated series of explanations we’ll be better off putting an even larger share of our health spending in the private sector? Or, another way, every other advanced Democracy has a more efficient health care system relying primarily on the public sector, but somehow they are all wrong and we can do better by just allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines?! Riiiiiight.