.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Proviso Probe

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mark Pera tries to sound like a populist on health care

I have a sign for Mark Pera at my residence, so it's fair to say I've endorsed him at some level. I prefer Pera to the incumbent, Dan Lipinski, and I judge Pera as having the best chance at beating Lipinski.

First, Pera says, "The quality of medical care in the United States is world renowned...." This is a vague statement. While people differ on what measures to use to compare health care systems, I think it's fair to say that the U.S. health care system is about average, maybe worse, among developed countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) did a study which ranked health care systems. The United States ranked 37 of 191 countries which includes backwaters like Afghanistan, Cambodia and Haiti. Critics have raised reasonable concerns about the methodology. See Glen Whitman (Agoraphilia). The U.S. system is far and away the most expensive health care system.

The countries that have public health care systems have lower costs. If a country delivers health care on a for profit basis, the people and companies within the "for profit" health care system will figure ways to squeeze customers for more money.

Pera and I differ on health care. Pera talks about wanting to restrain the influence of insurance industry and big pharmaceutical companies. However, his vision for health care is fundamentally a market-based approach. It's this "for profit" or market-based approach that makes health care unaffordable.

Pera is clearly trying to sound populist, but his vision for improving health care involves relatively minor changes to the system, not radical overhaul.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home