My friend Jim Jaffe has written a thoughtful piece about why the principal problem with increased costs is that something on the order of a third of what we doctors do either doesn’t work or may even be harmful. This second issue is an important point — useless tests often lead to other useless tests, and the whole process can turn into an Alice in Wonderland-like experience that takes us down a fiscal rabbit hole. Jim also thinks the loud politics have deceived us about where the true debate lies:
“The debate seems more partisan than it actually is. In reality there’s a split within each party on the over-consumption issue. Experts within the Republican Party think that backing away from employer-provided coverage would force individuals to make more prudent economic decisions that would reduce over-consumption.
Among Democrats, few believe that market forces can do the job in this area where supply basically creates its own demand.”
You can read Jim’s article here.