Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Health Care Costs and History

There is an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal that focuses on health care costs and history. The main take away message is related to a mentor's comment to me that I have blogged about before--health economics is the study of unintended consequences. The key here is not so much that the consequences were unintended but more unanticipated and a demonstration of just how tenuous economic projections are. The figures given show the original projections for different programs (including Medicare and Medicaid in general, specific aspects of these, and the state children's health insurance program). The key findings--projections consistently underestimate the actual expenditures. Does that mean that anyone else has done better? Not necessarily. It just means that we should be very cautious when interpreting any projections (government, congress, or otherwise) on how much money we will spend under any health care reform.

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