Monday, January 16, 2012

Tyler Cowen on Health Care

Tyler Cowen points out a potentially serious issue with health care costs.

The U.S. median wage for 2010 was $26,363. The average health care insurance premium today is over $15,000 and by 2021 it may be headed to $32,000 or so (admittedly that estimate is based on extrapolation). Therein lies the problem

Of course, to me this number just argues for single payer health care (which can bend the curve) and innovation to try and bring cost controls to the medical profession.  Now is it not contradictory to argue for both innovation and greater government  control?  In a sense it is, except that the market has formidable barriers to entry that cannot be easily be navigated.

So, for example, a team of nurses and a pharmacist could not form a company to treat twenty and thirty years for their minor health issues.  Nor do we have a clear distinction between major medical insurance (what if I end up in the ER) versus standard health care insurance (which removes the cost from the patient and is subsidized by the government).

On the other hand, maybe I am discounting the possible benefits of the exchanges?

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