Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quoting Karen Tumulty....

Providers now get paid according to how much care they provide, rather than how good it is. If a botched surgery lands you back in the hospital, for instance, that means more profit for the health-care industry. "They are often penalized if they provide more efficient care, if they reduce readmission rates," Orszag says, adding that changing that kind of perverse incentive will be a major focus of health-care reform. .

The great thing about this paragraph is that it is way more generally applicable than just within the health care debate. Anywhere where we can ask ourselves "where are there situations where the optimum business decision is one that resuts in harm?" After all, you can't ask and should never expect businesses OR individuals to do anything but what is in their own best interest within the law.
This is the one thing that "Church of Reagan" zealots look right past. There are things that markets are good at doing and other things at which the really suck! Failure to consider that possibility is precisely what's brought us to our current brink.

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