Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reform and Medical Costs

New York Times editorial "Reform and Medical Costs" (November 15th, 2009) has repeatedly made the same mistake as many other shrill reformists have made concerning medical costs. Specifically, speaking on rising medical costs, it claims:

Medical spending, which typically rises faster than wages and the overall economy, is propelled by two things: the high prices charged for medical services in this country and the volume of unnecessary care delivered by doctors and hospitals, which often perform a lot more tests and treatments than a patient really needs.

Similar arguments may be made for the alleviated pain individuals live with when sick. Costs are the product of quantity and price. Costs rising in and of themselves does not mean anything bad, economically. Some would argue the rise in medical costs since 1900 are paltry compared to the 30 extra years of life expectancy individuals have received. (Not to say that one shouldn't continue to cost-minimize, but to emphasize that quantity/quality of medical care has certainly gone monotonically up over time).

No comments:

Post a Comment