Sunday, October 25, 2009

Control Costs - Then Expand Coverage

Tyler Cowan's article in The New York Times describes the possible harm that insurance mandates might cause. At the end of the article, however, there is a caution that I totally agree with:

We’re often told that America should copy the health care institutions of Western Europe. Yet we’re failing to copy the single most important lesson from those systems — namely, to put cost control first. Instead, we’re putting our foot on the gas pedal and ratcheting up the fiscal pressures on the system, in the hope that someday, somehow, it will all work out.

As it stands, we’re on the verge of enacting a policy that is due to explode, penalizing many of the very people that it was ostensibly designed to help.

In fact the debate in Congress will be completely dishonest. Medicare has 74 trillion dollars of unfunded mandates, and here we are, about to add another layer of medical entitlement on top of it. Tyler Cowan's prediction about exploding entitlements is more real than Congress would have us believe.

Discussion on this article can also be read at The Volokh Conspriacy.

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