Monday, November 09, 2009

Someone Else's Money

This American Life produces interesting shows, some of which can be considered documentaries.
Recently, they produced this one, with the subject title, which encouraged me no end, that included a fascinating and delightful discussion of how the US health care system came to be what it is. In the podcast, start at about 19:30. You need to translate one phrase, "Go to war", with "Invite the government to help out".
The analogy to groceries starting around 29:10 is superb, and describes the dynamic that has now produced the Pelosicare, which layers more stupid government regulation on top of the original idiocies, and has zero chance of "cost control", barring some draconian behavior that has never been a skill of Congress.
The show also includes a comparison to pet care. And Tim Harford appears and finds the pet insurance system extant is vastly better than even today's system in the US for humans.
In the end, no existing health care system really does a great job of balancing cost control and availability. People always have some apparently reasonable compaint about whatever system they live under.


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