I for one remained baffled about what’s happening within the gizzards of the Grey Lady. On Sunday the NY Times published presented a long editorial about American health care and its high costs.
After the dog sore licking episodes of last year, (hinted at in the "does this matter?" section of this editorial when they dare to say "By some measures, Americans are getting good value.") this year the NY Times has had some sensible columns and has highlighted Wennberg’s work.
The editorial is a hodge podge of mostly correct analysis without any real "editorial" as to what to do. I’m baffled. Most of us would largely agree with their diagnosis but I’m confused as to what they’re suggesting here. The final paragraph bears repeating for being total woffle
By now it should be clear that there is no silver bullet to restrain soaring health care costs. A wide range of contributing factors needs to be tackled simultaneously, with no guarantee they will have a substantial impact any time soon. In many cases we do not have enough solid information to know how to cut costs without impairing quality. So we need to get cracking on a range of solutions.
I long for the halcyon days of 1992 when the NY Times more or less supported managed competition. There are plenty of things we could do (managed competition properly implemented is one, single payer is another, extending the VA to all Americans is a third). All of those policies would do something to contain costs. Now I’m a realist and I know we’re not going to do any of those–but this piece is supposed to be an editorial, fer chrissakes! Can’t they support something?
This editorial was clearly written by a committee that either didn’t understand the solutions or doesn’t agree about them.