Skeptical of healthcare strategy (Whipple)

“What gets measured gets done,” it’s been said, so perhaps the proposal to track Delaware healthcare costs vs. economic growth will do some good. I’m not sold on the idea, however, for several reasons.

The vision that has been outlined – spend less on healthcare and enjoy improved service levels – sounds “too good to be true.” A similar pitch was used in selling Obamacare, but that program didn’t produce the all gain/no pain results that were promised.

It’s suggested that needless services, e.g., a superfluous x-ray or extra night in the hospital, “make up 20 to 30 percent of healthcare costs.” Maybe so, but who should decide what services are needed in a particular case, government bureaucrats/ insurance companies (via top-down controls that amount to de facto rationing) or patients in consultation with their doctors?

Perhaps consideration should be given to other approaches, such as creating a healthcare system in which patients pay a more significant share of the cost out of their own pockets instead of having almost all the bills paid by government agencies and insurance companies.

William Whipple III

For further discussion, see Delaware’s plan to slow healthcare cost growth, 9/18/17.

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