After the previous three times, I don’t think I can bear it. This time David Leonhart has written a NYT article saying that the reason we spend more here is because of American culture. This may be the most moronic sentence of the whole series of articles:
We Americans tend to treat any rejection of a health claim as some conspiracy by insurance companies, the government, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. In other countries, people have arrived at a better understanding that health care necessarily involves economic triage — that $10,000 spent on quixotic care is $10,000 that can’t be spent more usefully.
“We Americans” are somehow are magically controlling the spending, apparently over the objections of “insurance companies, the government, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry”
He’s supposed to be the economist. Does he have no idea who controls health policy and health care spending in this country? For chrissake, the government here more or less represents the “insurance companies, the government, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry” and their interest is in spending more, not less. “We Americans” did not get a seat at that table, unless you count patient groups that also have an interest in higher spending and are co-opted by industry. Any high school senior doing a basic political science class who read the cliff notes on Stigler’s theory of capture can tell you how that works. But apparently you get to miss that class, or Econ 101 if you want to write on health care for the NY Times.