nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

US Health Care 3d Most Expensive Compared To What?

 
The process of passing HC reform is a good Poli Sci dissertation topic:  Legislation As Stone Throwing.

The following graph appeared in National Review's blog, Critical Condition, (Apr 14), showing public health (i.e., government) expenditures per person in countries around the world.

The US is third highest.  While this article is a good one, I have a beef with this ranking system.  I've written on this before:  if you take out violence and motor vehicle accidents (MVA), the US drops way down the list (31st, I think), so it's not a valid comparison.  The US is not a domesticated European state--we have way too much violence for one thing--and our MVA rate tracks with our per capita automobile ownership.  Some argue that you shouldn't factor out these two items, but they have nothing to do with how health care is delivered in this country.  So they should be factored out unless you are comparing social and culture factors that influence the amount of health care needed.

You don't address violence and MVA's with health care exchanges.



The article is otherwise a good discussion of the driving forces behind health care costs--primarily government--which I have written about before.

To paraphrase G. K. Chesterton on Christianity, free market health care has not been tried and found to be wanting, it has been found difficult and not tried.  Our medical care is expensive

"because our health-care system is neither socialized nor free, but the worst of both. The government does not yet control enough of the overall system to ration health care as the Left would desire, and does nothing about widespread fraud and abuse under its auspices. By instead underpaying doctors and hospitals for their services, it drives up health-care costs for the private sector. And most employees in the private sector don’t pay directly for their own care, leading them to expect lavish treatment at the expense of others."
--Avik S. A. Roy (see the original article here)

It's hard to implement the worst of both worlds, but our process of political patronage (I can't believe I stumbled into alliteration) manages to do so.


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