Thursday, October 08, 2009

The whole Baucus debate in one question 

Everybody knows that the US spends much more on health care than anyone else, without getting better results. Everyone also knows that health spending has outpaced GDP growth everywhere, thanks to medical progress. What I didn�t realize was just how clearly the evidence shows that the rising trend is steepest in the US. We have the biggest increase as well as the highest level. We�re #1!
Paul Krugman, 3/28/08.

So here's the question: If we pass Baucuscare, what would happen to the share of GDP devoted to health care? I thought the whole idea was to "bend the curve downward." You won't find that in the CBO report -- that's not their job. How else can we get the unfunded mandates included in the conversation?

Martin Feldstein thinks that the share of health care in income should be no more than 15%; I don't know why that's the right number, but if what we want is a cap on spending that is a more direct way to do it.

Megan McArdle shows that's not the case for Massachusetts. John Lott could add the question "what will this proposal do to cancer survival rates"?

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