The NYT On Healthcare
Here at OTB Steve Verdon and I have published a number of posts on the subject of healthcare and healthcare reform, possibly beating certain aspects of the subject to death. This morning the New York Times published an editorial on healthcare and healthcare reform that echoed a number of the points that Steve and I have been making and, needless to say, by and large I found it quite sensible. The Times characterizes the problems with our system as follows:
- The most significant problem with our current system is that it costs too much. This is important because the trajectory of cost increases is not sustainable.
- The main reasons that our costs are rising so fast is that we pay doctors and hospitals significantly more than they are paid in other OECD countries.
- The supply of healthcare varies markedly in different parts of the country.
- A dismayingly small proportion of actual medical practice is evidence- or outcome-based.
- HMO’s have not been particularly effective in restraining costs.
- Our system is slow to adopt information technology compared to other comparable systems.
- Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of other OECD countries.
- We have fewer primary care providers per 100,000 than other OECD countries.
- The solution to our system’s problems preferred by many Republicans may not do much to reduce costs, particularly not in a way consistent with public health.
- The solution to our system’s problems preferred by many Democrats may not do much to reduce costs at all.
I put most of my reactions to the editorial here. I look forward to Steve’s reactions to the article. Steve, feel free to update this post as you see fit.