Sunday, March 07, 2010

Lessons of a $618,616 Death: Sellers Don't Set the Prices and The Buyers Don't Know What They Are

BUSINESSWEEK - "Two years after her husband's death, Amanda Bennett's cover story examines the costs of keeping one man alive:

Looking at that stack of documents, it is easy to see why 31% of the money spent on health care went to paperwork and administration, according to research published in 2003 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That number has stayed the same or grown since then, says Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the study.

The documents revealed an economic system in which the sellers don't set the prices and the buyers don't know what they are. Prices bear little relation to demand or how well goods and services work.

"No other nation would allow a health system to be run the way we do it. It's completely insane," said Uwe E. Reinhardt, a political economy professor at Princeton University who has advised Congress, the Veteran's Administration, and other federal agencies on health-care economics."

HT: Garret Hartwig


At 3/07/2010 11:50 PM, Blogger gadfly said...

Newsweek needs to be careful about their sources.

Cambridge physician Steffie Woolhandler is co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. PNHP, according to its website is "a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program."

She and Harvard Medical School Professor, Dr. David Himmelstein, have already published two faulty studies on the effects of not having health insurance. First they claimed that they had a study that proved that medical expenses caused 2/3rds of the personal bankruptcies filed in 2007. This study was debunked by the Manhattan Institute.

Not to be deterred, the dynamic duo then focused on increased mortality caused by not having health insurance. In a recently published study, PNHP researchers claim that almost 45,000 deaths per year can be attributed to no health insurance. Obviously, they have not paid attention to the deaths resulting from poor care provided under the British national health plan.

Meagan McCardle takes on the flawed logic of death by health insurance (or lack thereof) in the March edition of The Atlantic Magazine.

Read about all this here.

At 3/08/2010 6:12 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Thanks gadfly for that link on your site...

Very educational...


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