Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Rational Response Is, "There Is No Health Care Solution."

From Washington Times columnist Robert Samuelson, on the Health Care Fix-It Myth.

Not all that much to say that's not said in the column. Mostly, it's what the lonely libertarian has been saying for years. It's not about your political ideology, it's about the search for rational solutions to health care, which most politicians and pundits seem to avoid in the search for the quick fix.

Just one other point, that's not often made in discussions about health care. One of the reasons costs have risen is uncontrollable no matter what your political outlook. The fact is, that we have far more medical technology, medical equipment, and medical treatment techniques available to us than ever before. Compare medicine for instance to another necessity, food. Food has gotten cheaper and cheaper because of efficient new techniques in manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. The food we eat has remained the same (at least the building blocks of what we eat). But in the realm of medicine, virtually everything has changed, and everything has changed for the better. Health care costs would be a great deal cheaper if we could be treated the exact same way a patient from the 1950's would have been treated.

The lonely libertarian has never seen a study of healthcare costs that takes these technological factors in to account, but they must represent some percentage of the increase in health care costs, and that percentage is basically the price we pay for progress.


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