[ExI] Yet another health care debate

John K Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Mon Sep 22 15:06:35 UTC 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fred C. Moulton" <moulton at moulton.com>
To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 1:30 PM
Subject: [ExI] Yet another health care debate

> It appears that periodically a health care debate arises on this list.
> And I am always amazed as normally rational people seem to take leave of
> their more advanced analytical tools.  Before wasting time and bandwidth
> how about performing some basic analysis.
> For each health care system under consideration please do the following:
> 1. Determine what are they component parts and how they are connected;
> such as emergency care, pharmacy, etc.  Are there parallel systems?
> 2. Determine how it is controlled, financed and regulated at the macro
> level.  And then how these macro level factors influence micro level
> decisions.  And the reverse.
> 3. To the extent that some or all of a health care system is controlled
> by an identifiable entity does that entity have a goal or goals?  Are
> these goals internally consistent and do they conflict with the goals of
> other groups?  How are these conflicts resolved?
> 3. Do individuals and groups have alternative options which they can
> pursue without penalties? 
> 4. Are the caps or limits or rationing on various types of care?  Are
> all illnesses and diseased covered and to what extent?
> 5. What are the demographic and other inputs into the system?  This
> includes factors such as age, work history, obesity, smoking, substance
> abuse just to name a few.
> 6. How are outcomes identified and measured?  Age of death, amount of
> suffering, time on waiting lists for diagnostics, time on waiting lists
> for surgery, percentage of persons receiving preventative care, etc.
> These are just a few of the items that need to be considered in order to
> even begin to have a reasonable comparison of health care systems.  And
> please avoid the glib but obviously wrong statements.  For example to
> say the USA has a free market health care system just shows a lack of
> knowledge.
> Fred
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