Monday, October 19, 2009

Health Care and Econ 101

OregonGuy gives the best summary I've seen on government health care priorities and basic economic realities.

OregonGuy points out that health care costs are going up because almost all of us would rather treat ailments that in the past have been considered untreatable rather than save money and just do the "live with it" routine.

Most of us would choose a knee replacement rather than spending life with a walker or in a wheelchair--even if the knee replacement is a lot more expensive than the walker or wheelchair.

Health care costs going up are a function of choosing to pay for treatment rather than spend money or something else--say a new car or a more expensive vacation.

But, with government setting cost cutting goals, your priorities won't count. As Mark Steyn points out:
The problem with government health systems is not that they pull the plug on Grandma. It's that Grandma has a hell of a time getting plugged in in the first place. The only way to "control costs" is to restrict access to treatment, and the easiest people to deny treatment to are the oldsters. Don't worry, it's all very scientific. In Britain, they use a "Quality-Adjusted Life Year" formula to decide that you don't really need that new knee because you're gonna die in a year or two, maybe a decade-and-a-half tops. So it's in the national interest for you to go around hobbling in pain rather than divert "finite resources" away from productive members of society to a useless old geezer like you.

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