I left that talk yesterday more pessimistic than ever about healthcare.
To think that there I was listening to decorated, allegedly innovative healthcare thinkers and all I heard were hackneyed ideas that were long ago disproven; I expect this from casual entrants in the healthcare discussion, not people running the benefits for 1.2 million people.
The natural place to start is the Enron-level accounting that miraculously hails increased spending as saving. Just think how laughable it would be in any other context to go from spending $8 in year 1 to $10 in year 2 to $11 in year three and hail this as savings because the rate of increase was lower.
But, perhaps you’ll contend, within a single program spending did actually go down. So what? I can ration my spending at, say, Best Buy, but more than offset it with greater spending at Target. I have accomplished less than nothing with these accounting magic tricks.
Which, speaking of programs, I’m stunned that intellectuals continue to trot out disproven cost-saving tools.
One would think that after President Obama and the rest of the ruling class were duped by Safeway, we’d all be just a tad more judicious with prevention and wellness. You would think that after studies continue to show wellness as a scam, we’d stop touting it. But no, we march blindly forward hoping that evidence no longer matters. (Which, perhaps there is a world where wellness saves money, I just can’t see us getting there if we ignore the total dearth of evidence that these measures work today.)
It’s moments like these when I understand why people so loathe elites. Here they are, sitting around in room congratulating themselves for saving billions of dollars even as the exact opposite is occurring.
All of it plays into the hands of the providers, who will surely sign on for these fake money-saving tactics that further increase our collective, false belief that more healthcare equals more health. Thus, we become ever more attached to healthcare, which allows hospital monopolies to grow more dominant and profitable.
Now, I know this is a really hard problem. I don’t doubt you are trying to solve it. I do doubt, though, that any real solution can found through such flagrant misdirection.