Health Policy - New York State

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November 01, 2004


John Fembup

"Few Americans give the health care system top marks."

Sounds a bit like Canada, or Germany, or Italy, or France, or . . . or (as I have recently learned) the Netherlands. Health spending under the very competent Dutch social programme has increased by an average of 16% per annum, compounded, over the last 5 years. Predictably tax funding to support the Dutch programme has expanded by a similar amount in that same timeframe. Ow, ow!!

"Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the cost of health care. One-fourth of Americans are not at all satisfied with the cost of their health insurance . . ."

Hmm, well. I wonder what this survey has really measured. Did it measure attitudes toward the cost of health care? Or did it measure attitudes toward the cost of health insurance? Or perhaps it jumbled the two together so we can't discern what exactly it did measure? If the underlying costs of health care cannot be restrained, the cost of insurance will continue to climb, regardless whether the insurance is private or public. The experience in any number of public and private systems around the world bears this out.

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