Jan 23, 2007

Three crises in one

Eric Cohen and Yuval Levin look at the American health care system and find that policymakers treat health care as one issue when really there are three problems to be addressed.
Three different “crises,” then, each of a different weight and character. The crisis of the uninsured, while surely a serious challenge, has often been overstated, especially on the Left, in an effort to promote more radical reforms than are necessary. The crisis of insured middle-class families has been misdiagnosed both by the Right, which sees it purely as a function of economic inefficiency, and by the Left, which sees it as an indictment of free-market medicine. And the crisis of Medicare has been vastly understated by everyone, in an effort to avoid taking the painful measures necessary to prevent catastrophe. In each case, a clearer understanding may help point the way to more reasonable reforms.

Interesting. Americans, it seems, have a vague generalized anxiety about the healthcare system even though a majority--89 percent--are satisfied with the quality of their care. And no one seems to be especially worried about the spiraling costs of Medicare.

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