Sunday, June 6, 2010

Son of Dartmouth

The New York Times offers an interesting visualization of healthcare statistics, put together by the McKinsey Global Institute, destined to gladden the heart of Peter Orszag & Co., who can no longer count on the discredited Dartmouth Atlas to make the case that experts (read: government) can do a better job of managing the healthcare system than ordinary Americans and their various healthcare institutions.

The visualization seems aimed at steering users toward the familiar conclusion: That the US spends too much on healthcare.   The Times includes this paragraph:

“We have known for a long time that health care is a market failure,” said Colleen M. Grogan, a professor of health administration and policy at the University of Chicago. “We have a system where there is an enormous incentive to charge higher prices, and no accountability to control those prices.”

An interesting planted assumption in the above: Healthcare is suposed to be a market.  And all this time, I thought healthcare was about health.    Obviously markets are important within the medical sector, but health and medicine are more important.

The question at issue here is not whether or not there's waste and incompetence--and worse--in the system. Of course there is: The question, instead, is who, and what, are best equipped to make the system more efficient. That's still an open question.

1 comment:

  1. Oh..Healthcare should be all about health. Well, maybe not really but it's supposed to be. I hope the "experts" got to have a way around this. :)