Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Health Care Spending

Megan McArdle points to a neat graph of healthcare spending vs. veterinary spending.

She adds these comments:
Veterinary spending is rising just about in line with human medical spending. Kudoes to AEI for publishing a graph that seriously undercuts one of the major conservative arguments about health care: that the main problem is consumers who don't bear their own costs. Veterinary spending is subject to few of the perversities that either left or right suppose to be the main problems afflicting health care spending. e Consumers pay full freight most of the time. They are price sensitive, and will let the patient die if keeping him alive costs too much. There is no adverse selection. There is no free riding on mandatory care. Government regulation is minimal. Malpractice suits are minimal, and have low payouts. So why is vet spending rising along with human spending?
The graph is also damning to certain liberal arguments about healthcare, though. Veterinary spending has increased despite the lack of insurance companies with their high-paid CEOs and their expensive administrative costs, for example.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

I'm somewhat confused. Wouldn't the lack of mandated preventative care and a central player to dictate prices tend to increase costs? How does costs increasing refute that? Those two things don't exist in american health care, either.

(note: I don't believe that a single-payer system will reduce costs other than by rationing; but I'm very confused by this part of your post.)

11:42 PM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Quite right, and I modified the post.

4:24 PM  

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