Friday, June 05, 2009

Should We Be Fixing Medicare First?

Virginia Postrel sounds off on the Council of Economic Advisers "disingenuous" report claiming easily-reduced health care costs:
Think about this for a moment. Medicare is a huge, single-payer, government-run program. It ought to provide the perfect environment for experimentation. If more-efficient government management can slash health-care costs by addressing all these problems, why not start with Medicare? Let's see what "better management" looks like applied to Medicare before we roll it out to the rest of the country.

This is not a completely cynical suggestion. Medicare is, for instance, a logical place to start to design better electronic records systems and the incentives to use them. But you do have to wonder why a report that claims that Medicare is wasting 30 percent of its spending thinks it's making a case for making the rest of the health care system more like Medicare.

h/t: Instapundit.

1 comment:

Cutts said...

I couldn't agree more... it is very frustrating that these high minded discussions about health reform ignore the most obvious target, Medicare. Whether people realize it or not, Medicare policy and pricing drives the commercial health care system as well... (not completely but its influence is highly signifcant). Medicare can't even staighten out problems with their benefit silos of Part A, Part B and Part D... put the list can do on and on