Thursday, April 30, 2020

Lowering the line

This is Joseph

I want to follow up on Mark's post earlier today. I think that a major concern that we have all had for awhile was whether or not there would be forward planning in the epidemic. After all, early in the epidemic there were problems because pandemic response had been under-funded and epidemiologists were caught by surprise at how unprepared we are.

Now we are seeing the same lack of forward planning. There is a principle of marshalling resources, even when there are free markets, that is being ignored. Few countries are happy if they are far from being food sufficient (and, when they are, they have a lot of planning around this), In the same vein, the United States has an energy reserve to prevent oil disruption, despite oil being part of a free market.

Why is healthcare so different?

Clearly it makes no sense to be cutting capacity here. You want to develop a healthcare reserve to handle the risk of a covid-19 hospitalization surge, not shrink capacity so people later in the epidemic have even worse care. Like with food and energy, one presumes the only rational provider of this financing is the government.

Why is this a partisan issue? Starving and freezing are bad, so we have a reserve against a disruption, but dying of a virus isn't a bad thing?

No comments:

Post a Comment