From Megan McArdle: This is in response to the remarkable Oregon study that found no significant difference in health outcomes between those with insurance and those without.
I think that this would tell us something different: not that health care is bad, but that health insurance doesn’t actually improve access to necessary treatment that much. If someone else covers the cost, it can help with the financial burden of health care. But uninsured people will mostly find a way for the most important treatments, the ones we know improve health, from stitches to control bleeding, to antibiotics, to blood pressure medication. It’s the expensive stuff on the frontier–the stuff that’s as likely to be useless, or harmful, as it is to help–that the uninsured mostly forego.
Full Article: The comments are also interesting.
This goes to several fundamental issues with health care that are seldom part of the discussion.
Access to insurance is not the same as access to care. The whole storyline that people without insurance are denied care is artificial.
If insurance does not improve outcomes, reduce suffering or prolong life do we as a society have a moral obligation to pay for insurance?
Or to turn it around if insurance does not improve outcomes, reduce suffering or prolong life is it ethical, moral or just plain fair to require people to pay to insure everyone?