Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BCWUW4: New findings on our healthcare system

from Sherry Glied, via Tyler Cowen:
... the efficiency of operation of the health care system itself appears to depend much more on how providers are paid and how the delivery of care is organized than on the method used to raise the funds.

It is GPs which help the poor, not additional spending on technology or surgery

...patterns of health service utilization in developed countries suggest that the marginal dollar of health care spending -- money used to purchase high tech equipment or specialist services -- is less progressively spent than the average dollar.

And there is evidence that the more a government spends on health care, the less it spends helping people in money ways. That is, there is crowding out.

Putting $1 of tax funds into the public health insurance system effectively channels between $0.23 and $0.26 toward the lowest income quintile people, and about $0.50 to the bottom two income quintiles. Finally, a review of the literature across the OECD suggests that the progressivity of financing of the health insurance system has limited implications for overall income inequality, particularly over time.
Be careful what you wish for.

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