Friday, April 14, 2006

Some Day We’ll Have to Face It

The March 23 issue of AHA News Now, the daily e-mail news bulletin of the American Hospital Association, reported a meeting on the previous day of the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group, a panel authorized by Congress to recommend reforms to the nation’s health care system. The group expects in June to release interim recommendations for public comment.

According to the report, “Participants at yesterday’s [3/22/06] meeting, Web cast from the University of Michigan, generally supported universal health care coverage and thought everyone should share in the cost. They also supported efforts to encourage healthful behaviors and disease prevention, lower administrative costs, and increase price transparency to allow patients to be informed consumers.”

I found two things in this noteworthy.

First, the bias in favor of single payer is not even subtle.

Second, there is no suggestion that care might be delivered more efficiently.

Our system of delivering care cannot forever grow faster than the economy as a whole. So some day the question of efficiency will have to be faced, however reluctant we are to do it.

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