Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paul Ryan is an Optimist

That is the impression I got from this blog post, over at Pileus Blog.  The author, Dr Sven Wilson,
is a health economist who studies the demographic correlates of health over the life cycle in both modern and historical populations and the impact of development assistance on health outcomes in developing countries.
Basically, Professor Wilson says that Insurance markets find it difficult to compete, despite Flo in the white uniform and the Gecko.  He also says that government regulation may not fix the problem.  Further, he notes, the policies are so complicated neither the provider nor the patient really knows the cost of anything.

Maybe it is time to open up the spigot for Doctors, Nurses, Physicians Assistances and Nurse Practitioners.  Maybe even pick up part of the education bill.  That would increase supply, which might will increase demand some, but should also lower some of the price.

Of course, this issue of Paul Ryan and the House Budget also causes us to ask if it is true that the US Senate has not been able to table a Federal Budget in 769 days, at least per Cap't Ed Morrissey.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

nealcroz said...

Increasing the number of providers will do little if anything to lower costs. If one assumes that the provider's cost includes overhead costs, then what the provider charges is simply a profit enabling fee that accounts for those overhead requirements. To bring down cost, you have to bring down medical support costs....equipment, drugs, etc.

BTW....Obamacare will NOT reduce costs....it will ONLY SHIFT the payment to certain levels of taxpayers in order to give others reduced cost or free healthcare. The actual healthcare "product" will cost the same, but many providers will leave the "industry" because their profits will dwindle to an undesirable/unaffordable level. Many liberal Americans think that the practice of medicine implies a certain amount of altruism. That is a wrong assumption.

Here is a snippet of an article in today's WSJ:

"ObamaCare will lead to a dramatic decline in employer-provided health insurance—with as many as 78 million Americans forced to find other sources of coverage.

This disturbing finding is based on my calculations from a survey by McKinsey & Company. The survey, published this week in the McKinsey Quarterly, found that up to 50% of employers say they will definitely or probably pursue alternatives to their current health-insurance plan in the years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014. An estimated 156 million non-elderly Americans get their coverage at work, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Before the health law passed, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only nine million to 10 million people, or about 7% of employees who currently get health insurance at work, would switch to government-subsidized insurance. But the McKinsey survey of 1,300 employers across industries, geographies and employer sizes found "that reform will provoke a much greater response" and concludes that the health overhaul law will lead to a "radical restructuring" of job-based health coverage.

Another McKinsey analyst, Alissa Meade, told a meeting of health-insurance executives last November that "something in the range of 80 million to 100 million individuals are going to change coverage categories in the two years" after the insurance mandates take effect in 2014.

Many employees who will need to seek another source of coverage will take advantage of the health-insurance subsidies for families making as much as $88,000 a year. This will drive up the cost of ObamaCare.

In a study last year, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, estimated that an additional 35 million workers would be moved out of employer plans and into subsidized coverage, and that this would add about $1 trillion to the total cost of the president's health law over the next decade. McKinsey's survey implies that the cost to taxpayers could be significantly more."