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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Why Are All Health Care Reformers Protectionists?

Why Are All Health Care Reformers Protectionists?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 04:29

David Leonhardt outlines an interesting proposal to reduce the cost of Medicare. He challenges readers to come up with alternatives.

There is an easy and simple one that health care reformers appear unwilling to consider. Let Medicare patients buy into the more efficient health care systems in other countries and split the savings. According to the Congressional Budget Office's projections, these savings will rise into the tens of thousands per beneficiary per year.

Comments (4)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, October 20, 2010 7:41
From the NYT article, this quote:
It won’t be possible to pay the bill by cutting other programs. They’re not big enough. Making big cuts to everything but Medicare and Social Security — shrinking the military and other programs to their smallest share of the economy since World War II — might save $200 billion a year by 2035. But by then, annual Medicare spending is projected to grow by more than $1 trillion.

This has been the problem all along. The military budget is not big enough. If it was larger, then cutting it could have some effect as an offset to Medicare, but as it stands Defence Secretary Gates is moving in the wrong direction. Bring back Military Keynesianism now so it can be reduced and get the economy moving again.
border care
written by pete, October 20, 2010 9:43
I think already many firms use cross border health care, venturing into Mexico. But, a better plan would be to import the labor directly to the U.S., rather than shipping patients overseas. Increase medical school and nursing enrollment. Grant anyone who obtains an advanced degree at an accredited U.S. institution (but not lawyers) a green card.
written by justasking, October 20, 2010 10:55
I don't think the authors have thought their proposal through. This proposal only make any sense with serious medical cases. Take a cancer patient who requires expensive initial care and years of supervision. Will they suggest that this patient travel regularly (at who's expense) or retire to say, Italy? If the goal is to reduce expenses, where is the net savings for the US economy if many retirees stop spending and paying taxes in the US. The biggest impact on runaway medical expenses will come from curbing the revenues of the health providers - doctors, hospitals and Big Pharma.
written by sunglasses wholesale, October 24, 2010 5:45
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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.