Health Economists Don't Believe in International Trade

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Monday, 27 September 2010 17:03
Princeton University Professor Uwe Reinhardt does not believe that it is possible to keep per person health care costs from rising from twice the average in the countries with longer life expectancies than the United States to more than four times the average in countries with longer life expectancies. Of course there are obvious ways to get costs done, such as the $270 billion a year that could be saved by eliminating government patent monopolies for prescription drugs and adopting a more efficient mechanism for financing drug research.

But the easiest mechanism to eliminate these enormous price differentials would be to simply open the market to international trade and allow people in the United States to take advantage of the more efficient health care systems in other countries. Too bad the NYT's economists don't believe in free trade.