When a policy generating a lot of fame and fortune starts to go wrong, the temptation to ignore new data can be irresistible. For over 50 years, mainstream U.S. health policy makers have promoted research supporting Kenneth Arrow’s 1963 assertion that “it is the general social consensus, clearly, that the laissez-faire solution for medicine is intolerable.” That is, only government intervention can reduce medical spending, raise medical quality, and provide care for all.
Evidence compiled since Arrow’s paper suggests that government is more likely to be the cost problem than the cost solution. Unfortunately, those invested in the proposition that government control lowers costs tend to avoid engaging with evidence that suggests the opposite.
When was the last time you saw a careful discussion of the overhead costs generated by ObamaCare’s medical practice restructuring, payments controls, and data system requirements? ObamaCare’s architects claimed that U.S. health-care spending is too high because physicians and patients use too much of the wrong kind of health care. The “fragmented” U.S. health-care “system” prevented cost control overseers from rooting out overuse promoted by fee-for-service physicians and their overly demanding patients. Their suggested cure uses mandated reporting, payment changes, and new health information technology to force new, untested, incentive structures onto medical practices and patient care in the name of health system “transformation.”
Read the whole article originally published in The Hill on May 30, 2018.