HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Good News about Inefficient Health Care

Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly discusses this week's cover story in Business Week concerning the economy and the role of health care.  He quotes,

The very real problems with the health-care system mask a simple fact: Without it the nation's labor market would be in a deep coma.  Since 2001, 1.7 million new jobs have been added in the health-care sector, which includes related industries such as pharmaceuticals and health insurance. Meanwhile, the number of private-sector jobs outside of health care is no higher than it was five years ago.

....Both sides can agree that more spending on information technology could reduce the need for so many health-care workers. It's a truism in economics that investment boosts productivity, and the U.S. lags behind other countries in this area. One reason: "Every other country has the payers paying for IT," says Johns Hopkins' Gerard Anderson, an expert on the economics of health care. "In the U.S. we're asking the providers to pay for IT" — and they're not the ones who benefit.

He then provides some interesting insight into the reasons for this inefficiency and some of the problems it causes:

The fact that this inefficiency means we employs a lot more people than we would if we had a rationally run system is hardly a great rallying cry for the status quo. A national healthcare system, besides being tremendously beneficial for the actual consumers of healthcare, would also align the market incentives more reasonably and reduce costs considerably. I'm willing to take the risk that we'll somehow figure out what to do with all the jobs and money we save along the way.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2006/09/good_news_about.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef00d834e94d0d69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Good News about Inefficient Health Care:

Comments

Post a comment