Thursday, March 22, 2007

Abolishing the Middlemen Won’t Make Health Care a Free Lunch

Tyler Cowen takes a pot shot at the argument that Medicare's low overhead would still be a good thing in a Medicare-for-all scheme.

Not saying I buy it, or that I've had time to think about it, but Cowen's always at least smart and avoids partisan hackery.

Step 2 awaits Saturday, and I can't really think until after that. Not between Step 2, and Tubby going to Minnesota.

4 comments:

michael said...

I think that article sucks!

"It is precisely because competing insurance companies spend money evaluating the appropriateness of claims that they are willing to pay for so many heart bypasses, extra tests, private hospital rooms and CT scans."

really??

michael said...

"The competition among private insurers may appear wasteful, but over time it stimulates better and more complete coverage."

what??

Garrett said...

As I said, I haven't even had time to read the article. I read Cowen's summary of the article on his blog.

He's a smart guy. I disagree with him often. But he's usually at least argues well, even when he's wrong.

Some days he seems to hate physicians, and some days he seems to love them (or more accurately, their "value"). I just didn't want to lose the article, and I figured folks like you would enjoy it.

I agree, those two lines you quoted are quasi-absurd econo-speak.

Michael said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/26/business/26care.html?ei=5088&en=2df77adc3733dbc0&ex=1332561600&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

“The bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims,” said Mary Beth Senkewicz, who resigned last year as a senior executive at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “They’ll do anything to avoid paying, because if they wait long enough, they know the policyholders will die.”

***

Now that's economics anyone can understand.