Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Medical Savings Accounts

We've talked about some of the ways in which free market fundamentalism makes no sense whatever as applied to medical services. (Not that it makes sense in any other context either, but that's for others to discuss.)

Now Mr. Bush, as part of his so-called "ownership society," wants to let us set up tax-advantaged savings accounts to pay for medical costs, keeping only catastrophic insurance. Supposedly, this will give us "control" over our own health care, while restraining spending on medical services by making consumers pay more of the cost out of pocket. The theory is, of course, that since most people's costs are paid by insurance, they don't are about the cost and so they tend to overconsume, ergo that is the explanation for the steadily rising share of GDP represented by health care.

I think my recent postings give readers enough tools to discover the problems with this proposal. I'll weigh in later, but for now, does anyone care to comment?

1 comment:

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