Saturday, November 14, 2020
Getting The Price Right: How Some Countries Control Spending In A Fee-For-Service System | Health Affairs
Getting The Price Right: How Some Countries Control Spending In A Fee-For-Service System | Health Affairs Comment by Don McCanne: "Health care spending is highest in the United States, and a major reason for this is our very high prices. The private insurance industry in the United States has not been particularly effective in controlling prices, and our government has largely limited its control of prices to public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, though, even there, the government has refused to control Medicare drug prices. The authors use the examples of the universal programs in France, Germany and Japan to show how governments can get the price right. The authors contend that we do not have to enact a Medicare for All system to control prices. But when you look at our fragmented health care financing system and the free rein that the private sector is allowed - especially the private insurers - it does not take too much imagination to see that trying to implement fee controls across the entire system would be much like herding cats. The fact that the crisis has been with us for many decades without any real progress being made in price controls, outside of Medicare and Medicaid, demonstrates that these cats are not very herdable. Essentially all other nations have been effective in controlling spending through control of prices, and we could be too, but it sure would be a lot easier if we had a well designed, single payer, improved Medicare for All. That way we would be standardizing prices in a system based on solidarity. Why solidarity? The current political turmoil should provide us with enough evidence that we sure could use an infusion of a whole lot more solidarity. Just our lack of solidarity in managing the COVID-19 pandemic is causing suffering, economic hardship, and loss of lives, simply because we have prioritized political squabbles over solidarity. Let's give solidarity a try - for our health."
Posted by Craig at 10:14 AM