Health Care Economics
By Arnold Kling
Some recent articles on the economics of health care:
Helen Levy and Thomas Deleire compare the expenditure patterns of people who have health insurance to those of people without health insurance.
I think that this is a useful reminder that many people are uninsured by choice. We may believe that they ought to have health insurance, but they have other priorities.
Robert Fogel says that much of the improvement in health is due to what he calls “physiological capital,” meaning better nutrition and reduced exposure to environmental hazards. Health care per se has been less important.
Gary S. Becker, Tomas J. Philipson, Rodrigo R. Soares argue that using per capital GDP to measure well-being does not take into account increases in longevity. They say that one result of this oversight is that economists under-estimate the extent to which underdeveloped countries are gaining relative to developed countries.
For Discussion. GDP measures expenditures on health care, but it does not measure health. Is this important?