Proposals for Health Care Stasis
By Arnold Kling
Now that Hillary Clinton has released her health care plan, it occurs to me that “health care reform” has become an Orwellian term. Her proposal, like those of other Democrats, would take our existing form of health insurance–what I call insulation –and try to extend it to everyone.
Consider three ways that medical decisions can be made:
1. Put bureaucrats in charge of spending the money and making the decisions.
2. Put consumers in charge of spending the money and making the decisions.
3. Use insurance to try to separate the issue of spending the money from the process of making medical choices.
Our current approach is to use (3). This means that we spend lots of money, with Hansonian consequences.
What I would like to see is different states experiment with (1) and (2). My own preference is for (2), but it is possible that (1) would work out better than (3). In any case, the “reform” plans would foreclose any experimentation of any sort. They should be called stasis plans.