Friday, December 04, 2009

Paul Krugman on Healthcare

I haven't read Krugman in a while, but he's still quite good. His latest notes that the current health care bill will make significant strides in bringing down the cost of healthcare. Not exactly what Republicans are saying, but he seems convincing enough to me.
. . . the proposed health care reform links the expansion of coverage to serious cost-control measures for Medicare. Think of it as a grand bargain: coverage for (almost) everyone, tied to an effort to ensure that health care dollars are well spent.

Are we talking about real savings, or just window dressing? Well, the health care economists I respect are seriously impressed by the cost-control measures in the Senate bill, which include efforts to improve incentives for cost-effective care, the use of medical research to guide doctors toward treatments that actually work, and more. This is “the best effort anyone has made,” says Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Unfortunately he notes that the Republican party has made strenuous efforts to demonize this particular part of the plan, meaning that, if this bill fails, meaningful reform may have to wait another few decades at which point the situation will be a lot worse.

No comments: