Sentence of the Day

Thus, the recent gains in health outcomes may be more closely related to the influence of 1970s exercise guru Richard Simmons than to the diffusion of open-heart surgery.

From Alan Garber and Jonathan Skinner in, Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient (JEP or free here).  Interesting throughout.


I've only had a chance to scan this article so far. Something that struck me as interesting though is the fact that Americans consume more experimental and new treatments than foreigners.

Since these treatments cost more and are of unproven effectiveness, how much does this effect HC costs?

By engaging in this behavior are we accelerating research into refining new treatments and their effectiveness? Are we subsidizing world-wide understanding of what treatments are effective, much as we subsidize research into pharmaceuticals?

Thus, if American HC were fixed, would the rest of the world suffer?

Showing the rest of the world what not to do in terms of HC policy can also be construed as a form of subsidy.

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It's also true that Americans are subsidising the cost of invading Iraq for the rest of the world, given that hardly anyone else is paying for it.

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