That Buffett-Bezos-Dimon healthcare venture goes bust — predictably
June 12, 2021 at 7:28 AM - Views: 9 #429119eridaniParticipant
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The flaw in the billionaires’ reasoning was that controlling healthcare costs required some kind of deep magic that only they could access. If that were so, then their venture might have been truly ambitious.
But it’s not so. There’s no mystery about why America’s healthcare system is so expensive — roughly twice the cost, per capita, of the average spending in other developed countries. The solution was set forth in a seminal 2003 paper by Gerard F. Anderson of Johns Hopkins and the late Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton, titled: “It’s the Prices, Stupid.”
Americans had fewer hospital admissions per capita and shorter stays per admission than people in other developed countries, they pointed out, but paid more per admission and per day. The same goes for pharmaceutical prices — the U.S. paid the highest prices, by far, for drugs.
Haven’s founders didn’t even have to look overseas for examples of national healthcare systems that had solved the mystery of costs. They only had to look at Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. All three public programs did perfectly well in controlling costs, and still do.
All place limits on reimbursements to doctors and hospitals, some more stringent than others. As the Kaiser Family Foundation reported, the spending by America’s public healthcare programs very closely matches that of other developed countries, at about 8.4% of GDP. Where the U.S. is an outlier is in spending by the private sector, through commercial health insurance. There the U.S. spends an additional 8.6% of its GDP on healthcare, compared with only 2.4% by other countries.
Comment by Don McCanne od PNHP; I contend that the Haven health reform effort of Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon, along with Atul Gawande, was a spectacular success, as an experiment in health policy. They proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the private sector is incapable of fixing our highly dysfunctional health care financing system. The only model that has shown promise is a single payer Medicare for All system. But you cannot set that up as an employer-sponsored system; it will have to be a public system for all the people.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
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