Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Caveat Emptor

(Pursuing universal access to health care while reigning in the spiraling cost of care and bracing for an army of aging baby boomers is a modern policy nightmare. Compounding the challenge is a public all too used to over-consuming everything from prescription medication to flat screen TVs. In this Washington Post article, MacGillis points out the more problematic elements of any health care reform, and suggests that a substantial behavioral shift may be necessary if America's medical infrastructure is to survive the coming financial apocalypse...)

In Retooled Health-Care System, Who Will Say No?

By Alec MacGillis
Updated: 07/08/2009

The question came from a Colorado neurologist. "Mr. President," he said at a recent forum, "what can you do to convince the American public that there actually are limits to what we can pay for with our American health-care system? And if there are going to be limits, who . . . is going to enforce the rules for a system like that?"

President Obama called it the "right question" -- then failed to answer it. This was not surprising: The query is emerging as the ultimate challenge in reining in health-care costs that now consume $2.5 trillion per year, or 16 percent of the economy. How will tough decisions be made about what to spend money on? In a country where "rationing" is a dirty word, who will say no?

Read on...