IBJOpinion

Health care issues haven't changed much

December 12, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

[In response to Chris Katterjohn’s Nov. 21 column] In ’73 I was a grad student in a master’s health care management program and the same issues were the topic of the day, especially in the econ class. Our program director gave us a class assignment to determine if the rapidly rising health care expenditures were a problem and, if so, what to do about it if we were “in charge.”

Our conclusion: Yes, it’s a problem, because governments were bearing so much of the cost payment and the payment structure for private pay was so out of whack with normal economic practices. It was [and is] also a problem because we do not have a health care system—we have a health care industry wherein the players are doing what they should—trying to maximize market share and revenue.

If the American people really want a system of health care delivery which will hold the line on costs, they will have to accept a system manager who will be able to make decisions regarding efficacy and efficiency and make them stick. I don’t think we as a nation want that. It’s a pity. We all want it all, now and at low cost. Not going to work out.

__________

Jack Selby

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