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POLICY: Abramovitz on Why Consumer-Directed Health Care Won’t Fly

This is a little late but the folks over at Managed Care magazine had a nice start of year forecasting piece in their January edition which has several forecasts of the next five years.  Particularly interesting is Ken Abramowitz’s piece on why Consumer-Directed Health Care Won’t Fly. Abramovitz is no screaming lefty, in fact he works for the Carlyle Group, the defense group that’s also a home for George Bush, John Major and other right-wing refugees from the cold war. So why does he think Consumer-directed health plans will be a fad? He thinks that consumers won’t be able to figure out pricing and employers are the only groups who have a hope of negotiating properly with health plans.  I don’t share much of Abramowitz’s faith in employers but I do share his skepticism that the consumer market for health care services will be any more than a total zoo.

JD Klienke has some fun stuff to say about the consumer world and the continual crisis.  I like his last line:

    Everyone will complain about the system’s myriad inefficiencies, and blame everybody else for its imminent collapse, and life will go on

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