Friday, August 21, 2009

Peter Suderman On Health Care Rationing

"As I've written before, I think warnings about rationing are a red herring. The word is typically off-limits in reasonable health-care conversations -- politicians don't like admitting that not everyone will get everything they want -- and thus when it is used, it tends to be to scare people. But the fact is, health-care resources are limited; we already ration them through the current mesh of employers, insurers, and government agencies and regulations; and the question is not whether to ration, but who gets to make decisions about care and how.

Leave decisions to central authorities, and individuals and providers tend to have fewer choices, and innovation tends to proceed somewhat more slowly. Leave decisions in the hands of private entities, and care tends to be spread less evenly. Beyond the hyperbole on both sides, the fact remains that no matter how one structures the rationing process -- whether
it emphasizes government or the private sector -- there are always trade-offs." - Peter Suderman, filling in for Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish

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