Last week, I officially graduated from the University of California-San Diego with a Ph.D. in Economics. After 5 years of advanced education, how would I reform the current health care system? What principles are essential to a well-functioning health care system? I answer these question below in the “Healthcare Economist Manifesto.”
Healthcare Economist Manifesto
What should we do?
Any health reform that I would support should have the following components:
Does a template for U.S. health reform exist?
There are two countries that have a model that may work for the U.S.: the Netherlands and Switzerland. Both use private health insurance to cover patients, but have nearly universal health insurance coverage. [Universal coverage may be easier to achieve in these smaller, more homogeneous countries than in the U.S., however.] The Dutch system allow individuals to still get coverage through their employers if they so choose, but employers need not offer health insurance. Individuals pay their own health insurance premiums, but these premiums are subsidized depending on household income.
Neither of these countries models is a perfect fit for the U.S., but they do have attractive elements. Like any policy discussion, the devil is in the details. In order to have true health care reform, we must incentivize patients and providers to maximize health care quality for the lowest cost.