Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some interesting ideas for reducing the growth in health care costs

Two pieces from the New York Times that shed some light on two of the elephants in the room when we talk about reducing health care costs.

This one is a Q and A with an Arizona official about the states decision to impose a $50 fee on childless adults on Medicaid who are either obese or who smoke.


The other is an essay that argues that medical schools should be free, something I have been advocating for some time as approximately 20% of the US health care dollar is spent on physicians/clinical services (http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/US-Health-Care-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx).


Doctors make a lot of money: 9 of the top 10 best paying jobs in the US are various types of physicians. On the the other hand medical education is very expensive so Doctors entering the field have huge debts. Increasingly Doctors are not private practitioners but are employees so their earning power does not have the same potential as it used to. One thing that I did not know until recently that my daughter in law Jodi (who knows everything about getting into college and paying for it) told me was that there are basically no scholarships for medical school because the feeling of funders is that anyone becoming a doctor will be able to pay back loans.