Health Care: A Rudderless Ship?

With all the action and talk about the bailout, the health care issue has been moved off the front pages. Nonetheless, there is still discussion back and forth on the issue. Dr. Jim Tryon, a prominent New Mexico doctor who has advised Governor Richardson and others on health care reform, wrote on the topic in the Albuquerque Journal. In his article which can be found here he argues:

(Our) health care “system” is a non-system. Can you imagine running a $6 billion dollar enterprise without a chief executive and a board of directors? Without a governance structure there is no way to coordinate the business of health care. Without an empowered governance structure, special interests will continue to rule and protect their individual turf, and profit, at the expense of the whole.

Of course, the idea that health care should be a “system” seems like a fallacy to me. After all, a system sounds like something that the government would control from the top-down. Medicare and Medicaid are “systems,” but those are not models we should adopt. We don’t have a grocery system, but there is no problem getting food at your local supermarket.
Rather than creating a “system” — even a more coherent one than exists now — adopting reforms in order to free individuals and businesses from unwise government policies would be more sensible than forcing a top-down system on everyone. After all, the fact that so many involved in the health care debate exercise their power to say “No” is probably a good sign that widespread support for any single reform option is not there (thankfully). Maybe we can give greater freedom a try for a change?

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