In the US, with our substandard health care, long waits, and incredible expense, cancer death rates are dropping. Oh, and that’s with better detection and people living longer, both things that should make this look worse, not better.
Of course, on the same day, the news was released that The One will appoint Dr. Donald Berwick to run Medicare. As a recess appointment (something Candidate Obama wouldn’t have done) to avoid scrutiny of his record, which some might find a touch troubling.
“Please don’t put your faith in market forces,” he said (italics in original). “It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I find little evidence that market forces relying on consumers choosing among an array of products, with competitors fighting it out, leads to the healthcare system you want and need. In the US, competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply driven, fragmented care system.”
Berwick argued that purposely provided an inadequate supply of health-care—as Britain’s health-care system does—is superior to allowing the market to provide an excess.
“In America, the best predictor of cost is supply; the more we make, the more we use—hospital beds, consultancy services, procedures, diagnostic tests,” Dr. Berwick wrote. “… Here, you choose a harder path. You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too little of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.”
Because everyone knows that mean old free market with its excessive healthcare availability can’t possibly be as good as one with planned shortages.
In case it didn’t catch your eye the first time, this is the mantra of state run, centrally planned healthcare:
You plan the supply; you aim a bit low; you prefer slightly too little of a technology or a service to too much; then you search for care bottlenecks and try to relieve them.
Good luck with that. I’m gonna buy it on my own.