Sunday, April 12, 2009

Uwe Reinhardt: Defining ‘Health Care Reform’

Reinhardt brings his usual clarity to the dismal science. This time on Health Care Reform,
As a vertical economist, however, I naturally think of health care as just another economic sector with the following distinct facets:

1. a demand side (by which I mean patients or their agents, private and public health insurers, who procure health care and pay for that care)

2. a supply side (the providers of health care and of health care products)

3. a health-insurance system, intended to protect individuals and households from excessive financial loss due to medical bills, and also to help patients procure health care at negotiated prices

4. an information infrastructure supporting and linking patients, insurers and providers of care with one another, and

5. a regulatory infrastructure intended to keep transactions in this market honorable, fair to both sides, and oriented toward the ultimate social goals of a health system.

Ambitious as he is, the president would like to reform all of these facets of the health sector.
Read all of him.

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