Over at the Huffington Post, Dr. Susan Blumenthal and her team at the DC-based Center for the Study of the Presidency, have released their third in a series of articles comparing the Presidential candidates positions on various aspects of health care. This piece focuses on their views on the scientific and medical research that underlie progress in public health.
This has undoubtedly been yeoman’s work for this group of researchers, and as the election draws closer we’re indebted to them for making these positions so clear.
My guess is also that this article’s topic is particularly dear to Dr. Blumenthal, who is a former Assistant Surgeon General and recent recipient of the
US Public Health Service’s Distinguished Service Medal.
Like democracy, managed care is a great idea. It’s just that its rarely been tried.
Even so, my guess is that its about to re-emerge in a new, improved form, and possibly with some other name. If the signs around us now have any meaning, it will be different than our experience of a couple decades ago, and much truer to the original principles and possibilities that first caught our attention.
Last week the New York Times’ David Leonhardt ran another pop health economics piece, exploring several presidential candidates’ notion that the savings captured by providing better care could fund the uninsured. He explains better care as really being prevention – making sure that patients get services that stave off illness – and better management of the care process once they do get sick. And then, quoting a variety of health care experts, he takes issue with the notion that these approaches actually produce returns-on-investment. The problem, you see, is that while you may save money on the diabetic who avoids hospitalization to get his foot removed, you’re spending money taking care of all those diabetics who wouldn’t ever have had a costly problem.