Code Red

by on January 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm in Books, Medicine | Permalink

The book is by David Dranove and the subtitle is An Economist Explains How to Revive the Healthcare System Without Destroying It.  Here is the Amazon listing.  Here is the book’s home page.

Code Red is one of the two or three best books on the economics of health care.  It is especially strong on how the current mess evolved historically and what has been tried (or not tried) along the way.  This is the place to go to understands PSROs or what happened to the HMO revolution.  Dranove is very pro-Medicare but he (reluctantly) rejects single-payer systems for limiting innovation.  Instead he finesses the market-government divide by calling for federalistic competition:

Congress should mandate that all states reach targets for the number of uninsured, say, below 5 percent within 5 years.  Congress could tie compliance to a set of financial carrots and sticks, and it does with Medicaid.  To prevent a race to the bottom, Congress should also specify a minimum benefit package.  It would then be up to each state to devise the most effective way of meeting these coverage goals.

I fear that minimum benefit packages will prevent insurance from ever being cheap plus I wonder if Medicaid shouldn’t be done on the national level.  This book won’t make anyone fully happy, but it is a must for fans of health care policy.

1 Jonathan January 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

What are the other one or two best books?

2 Biomed Tim January 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm

“What are the other one or two best books?”

Who Shall Live? by Victor Fuchs.

3 Joseph January 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm

“Your Money or Your Life” is a really good healthcare pick.

4 Timothy January 29, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Prof. Dranove has a healthcare economics blog, also called Code Red, with Prof. William White of Cornell University. Here is the link.

5 techreseller February 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

Minimum health care packages generated by a government body will not be minimum. Too much political pressure to cover a, then b, then c, then d. Never ends. I wish I could get thru my employer just a catastropic plan, have it pay for stuff over $2000 and just take of the rest myself. Course I would want the savings in the health care premium in salary.

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8 jack May 13, 2009 at 5:18 am

It seems we will be in economy resin for quite a long time. We can see the economy crisis effect everywhere.

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