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"Evan Bayh Admits Health Care Bill Does Not Stop Rising Health Costs"

Posted Mar 29 2011 12:00am

Mediaite's Alex Alvarez catches this damning admission from former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh; Obamacare doesn't do anything to control healthcare costs: 

The real issue that was not addressed, Laura, that you’ve raised now, and I think appropriately, is the cost, the cost to both the government and to your listeners. We need to take steps now to get the costs of health care under control. That was not dealt with really in an aggressive way in this legislation. I think it now needs to be.

Interesting that Bayh voted for the bill that passed last year.  And yet now he says, present and future tense, that "we need to take steps now." 

So when will start controlling healthcare costs?  Answer: When we realize that the intellectual model that we have been following--rationing not only care, but also, in effect, rationing medicine and medical research--is a non-starter.  Yes, Obamacare promised to do just that, but, well, that's politics.

The real-world reality is that restricting payments for the treatment of ill people is not politically acceptable.   By contrast, restricting the flow of capital to medical research is, unfortunately, possible, because the public doesn't quite know what's going on.  But such a restriction makes healthcare even more expensive, because it's cheaper to vaccinate than to treat, and it's cheaper to cure than to care.

Unfortunately few Americans understand the nature of the drug and device "pipeline."  As the economist Bastiat said, there's the "seen" and the "unseen" in political economics, and longterm medical research is mostly unseen.

The opposite model, of course, is Serious Medicine, which argues that what when people are healthier, they are less expensive to care for.   And can work longer and more productively.  

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