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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Health care history

I researched the history of efforts to revamp the health care system for my latest article in Research magazine. Excerpt:

The history of health care politics can be sobering. It suggests, for one thing, that government health care programs can cost a great deal of money, possibly much more than their proponents indicated or realized when the programs were proposed. History also shows that the health care sector, traditionally touted as largely recession-proof in that people will continue to purchase its products even in a downturn, can be quite volatile, especially when political debates are afoot that could transform the sector.

Another sobering feature of health care debates over the decades is that they fall into predictable grooves, with reformers often seizing on the same basic idea — a government-run health insurance program — rather than contemplating a broader array of reform possibilities. Meanwhile, opponents often have focused on the downsides of such a government-heavy approach rather than emphasizing alternative reforms to address problems in existing health care arrangements.

Whole thing here.

UPDATE: I'm slated to talk about this piece on the Gabe Wisdom Show on Sept. 8, at 7pm ET.

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