[ExI] robin hanson on health care

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Jun 11 08:02:59 UTC 2009

2009/6/11 BillK <pharos at gmail.com>:
> On 6/11/09, spike wrote:
>>  On another topic, during the discussion of health care, I never saw mention
>>  of Robin Hanson's piece, which he wrote nearly two years ago, but which has
>>  an Orwellian ring of truth:
>>  http://www.cato-unbound.org/2007/09/10/robin-hanson/cut-medicine-in-half/
>>  <http://www.cato-unbound.org/2007/09/10/robin-hanson/cut-medicine-in-half/>
> I've heard this before and queried some of the conclusions.
> Basically, you can probably claim that around half the expenditure on
> *anything* is wasted. The difficulty is that you don't know until
> after the event which half wasn't needed.
> Take insurance as an example. Most times it is a waste of money, but
> when you need it, you really do need it badly.
> Or, even car maintenance, as Robin quotes in the article. Probably
> most people could skip the annual service bill with no harm done. But
> some people will have a blown engine. Does this make the annual
> service unnecessary?
> There are specific arguments to be made in health care, like excessive
> 'end-of-life' expense. But that's a different argument.
> BillK

All the studies Robin cites appear to be US based. Could a failure to
detect a correlation between health spending and outcomes in that
context just point to a broken system, where resources going in don't
actually have much relationship with patient care?

In fact, Robin points to the higher spending in the US on health,
compared to "other nations", without extra health gains. Could the
system in the US just be broken? Would a broken system cut in half be
a better thing? Or, could it be that the solution is to completely
remodel the health system based on the more successful examples in the
socialist west, and hope that as a side effect there might also be a
50% cut in expenditure?


http://emlyntech.wordpress.com - coding related
http://point7.wordpress.com - ranting
http://emlynoregan.com - main site

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list