Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The (Benefits of the) High Cost Cost of Health Care

David Leonhardt, writing in today's New York Times, argues that the skyrocketing cost of health insurance isn't a bad thing: it's actually helping us live longer. Leonhardt makes a good point - with the constant rhetoric over the "spiraling costs of health care" there is a real tendency to look at health care as simply a necessary cost with its value divorced from its price; Leonhardt analogizes it to gas which is appropriate.

And while Leonhardt does acknowledge that the current "solution" to high health care costs is to drop expensive patients from the health care rolls altogether, I believe he is too sanguine about the actual benefits conferred by our increasingly costly health care. In the last four decades health insurance has increased an average of $5,500 per person per year. How much of that money actually increases our longevity and improves our health? And at what point is that money better spent on other health-promoting activities (better food, more education, etc.) in lieu of traditional health insurance?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Scott Ryan said...

wow what a post

Thu Jul 19, 11:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dallas Health said...

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Thu Jul 17, 05:53:00 AM EDT  

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