Health Care and the Key to Controlling Cost

A good article on the subject of health care costs and the need for rationing… from the “Naked Economist”:

“Rationing” has a bad connotation, which is odd, because we ration just about everything. In fact, that’s what capitalism does best.  Not everyone gets an S-Class Mercedes-Benz or court side tickets to the NBA playoffs or roses on Valentine’s Day. Who does? People who are willing to pay for them.  We call that a market, which is just rationing with a more attractive name. Everything worth having is scarce to some degree, so we use prices to figure out who gets what…

We have no good mechanism for saying “no” to expensive technologies and treatments that provide marginal benefits. If you’re a patient, that sounds terrific; your doctors will spare no expense. If you’re a business trying to keep up with skyrocketing health care costs, or a family trying to pay for benefits, it’s not. And, of course, as insurance costs go up, fewer people will have access to that kind of coverage.

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