In a Washington Post op-ed David Goldhill produces an interesting retort to those who advocate a national policy along the lines of “Medicare for all”:
In the mainstream of our health-care debate, this growth in seniors’ demand is considered organic — a need to be fulfilled. But this extraordinary growth in volume is better understood as a provider reaction to the perverse incentives of low prices. Faced with buyers focused on volumes — such as private insurers — the health-care industry prices high; when dealing with buyers focused on prices — such as Medicare and Medicaid — the focus shifts to raising volumes, especially of more-costly procedures. Both strategies demonstrate the industry’s enormous market power.
One of the things that concerns me about the present trajectory of federal healthcare policy is that it seems to me to be moving in the direction of “Medicaid for all”, which seems to me the worst of all possible outcomes.