Thursday, October 08, 2009

Other People's Money

The graph above is very telling. Over the last thirty years out of pocket spending has fallen precipitously. In this same period health care expenditures have risen tremendously. The reason I focus on out of pocket spending is that it's absence is illustrative of two major definciencies in the health care system:

1. Administrative Inefficiency (at an absurd level): Adding third and fourth parties to a transaction typically raises the cost of said transaction

2. Perverse Incentives: When you are spending other people's money you are more prone to waste. In the health care context this is the equivalent of ordering expensive tests with limited value, brand name drugs were generic drugs are adequate, etc.

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