Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harvard Medical School Dean "Fails" Health Care Reform Bill

Once again, one of the people who knows the most about the health care system declares the current health care reform legislation to be a disaster waiting to happen.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Our health-care system suffers from problems of cost, access and quality, and needs major reform. Tax policy drives employment-based insurance; this begets overinsurance and drives costs upward while creating inequities for the unemployed and self-employed. A regulatory morass limits innovation. And deep flaws in Medicare and Medicaid drive spending without optimizing care.

Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that's not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care's dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.


We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead.
Read the entire article here.


  1. What about tort reform? The CBO estimated it could save $54 Billion in our health care system. I think that might help bring down the costs! It would also better allow doctors and patients to perform the care they want.

  2. LOL, I was just going to post this article. Thanks for taking care of it for me.

    Dr. Flier has accurately expressed several vital concerns of those within the medical field (not just "sheeple" shouting platitudes they know nothing about). I have to admit I was surprised this came out of Harvard though. Hopefully, the students won't crucify him for this.

  3. Yes, they will crucify him because it's like speaking out against their religion to them. But their responses only reveal more about their Obamamanic and Marxist flaws than refute the argument and the facts. I'm honestly not understanding how the Left can argue over facts, as though facts can be dismissed as long as you deflect attention off of them for long enough.