New book written about the healthcare system in the US.  BD

Who Killed Health Care?: America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem -- and the Consumer-Driven Cure
(McGraw-Hill, 240 pages, $24.95)

Try to imagine health care as a police lineup, with the patient behind the one-way mirror, trying to pick out the suspect. The lineup includes big hospitals, employers, big insurance companies, health care academics and government. When asked which of the suspects killed health care, the patient points to all of them.

Indeed, the only ones to not make out on managed care were patients and doctors. Patients loathed the restrictive nature of HMOs, to the point that eventually HMOs were replaced by managed care organizations like Preferred Provider Organizations that put fewer restrictions on patient access and choice. Under managed care, doctors are pressured to conform to managed care organizations' disease management advice. Academics frequently complain of doctors' low compliance with such advice. However, it may be that the doctors, and not the academics, know what they are doing. As Herzlinger notes, "There is no accepted evidence of the cost effectiveness of disease management."

Who Killed Health Care? points out that they actually came to prominence due to the HMO Act of 1973. With an economy facing rising health care costs in the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon turned to HMOs to hold costs down. His HMO Act required employers who offered insurance to offer at least one managed care product. It also offered subsidies to companies that opened HMOs.

Source: The American Spectator


  1. In addition to the named 'suspects' above, I wonder if we see other suspects like illegal aliens, lawyers, pharmaceutical companies etc etc?


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