Individuals involved in research and in health care delivery are driven primarily by their altruistic goals of providing the best health care attainable.Jonathan Cohn’s article helps us to understand this difference.Of course, the idea of involving the government in these decisions is anathema to many conservatives—since, they argue, the private sector is bound to make better decisions than a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington.
Another virtue of more centralized health care is its ability to generate savings by reducing administrative waste.
A universal coverage system that significantly streamlined billing (either by creating one common form or simply replacing basic insurance with one, Medicare-like program) and cut down on the need for so many insurance middle-men would leave more resources for actual medical care—and real medical innovation. the truth about universal health insurance: You don’t have to choose between universal access and innovation.
And, in more centralized systems, it can do just that.
Several European countries are way ahead of us when it comes to establishing electronic medical records.
And that is precisely what the leading proposals for universal health care seek to do.
All of them would establish independent advisory boards, staffed by leading medical experts, to help decide whether proposed new treatments actually provide clinical value.
With or without universal coverage, subsequent presidents and Congress could ramp up funding again—although, if they did so, they would be breaking with the present course.
It so happens that, starting in 2003, President Bush and his congressional allies let funding stagnate, even though the cost of medical research (like the cost of medicine overall) was increasing faster than inflation. They needed room in the budget for other priorities, like tax cuts for the wealthy.
And that is probably the primary explanation for why so many of the intellectual breakthroughs in medical science happen here.
There’s no reason why this has to change under universal health insurance. And, during the late 1990s, thanks to bipartisan agreement between President Clinton and the Republican Congress, its funding actually increased substantially—giving a tremendous boost to research.