Rationing in Healthcare? It’s the American way

Nice summary of healthcare rationing in Economix.

Reinhardt notes:

“In short, free markets are not an alternative to rationing. They are just one particular form of rationing. Ever since the Fall from Grace, human beings have had to ration everything not available in unlimited quantities, and market forces do most of the rationing.”

“Let me remind rationing-phobes what they would find in the huge body of research literature and media reports on our health system, should they ever trouble themselves to read it:”

  • “Many Americans without health insurance or very high deductibles routinely forgo prescribed medicine or follow-up visits with a doctor because they cannot afford it, risking more serious illness later on.”
  • “A 2008 peer-reviewed study by researchers at the Urban Institute found that health spending for uninsured nonelderly Americans is only about 43 percent of health spending for similar, privately insured Americans. Unless one argues that the extra 57 percent received by insured Americans is all waste, these data imply rationing by price and ability to pay.”
  • “A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal featured a series of articles reporting how often uninsured middle-class Americans are charged the highest prices at pharmacies and in hospitals, and how sometimes they are hounded over medical bills to the point of being jailed for failed court appearances.”
  • “Studies have shown that solid middle-class American families – even ostensibly insured families -can lose all of their savings and sometimes their homes over mounting medical bills in the case of severe illness.”
  • “In its report Hidden Cost, Value Lost: The Uninsured in America, the prestigious Institute of Medicine a few years ago estimated that some 18,000 Americans yearly die prematurely for want of the timely health care that health insurance makes possible and that can prevent catastrophic illness.”
  • “A recent study by an M.I.T. professor found that uninsured victims of severe traffic accidents receive 20 percent less health care than equivalent, insured victims and are 37 percent more likely to die from their injuries.”

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One response to “Rationing in Healthcare? It’s the American way

  1. Pingback: Cutting Health Care Costs « Medicynic

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