Balancing the Goals of Health Care Provision

20 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2006 Last revised: 26 Sep 2010

See all articles by Martin S. Feldstein

Martin S. Feldstein

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) (deceased); Harvard University (deceased)

Date Written: June 2006

Abstract

A desirable system for providing and financing health care would achieve three goals: (1) preventing the deprivation of care because of a patient's inability to pay; (2) avoiding wasteful spending; and (3) allowing care to reflect the different tastes of individual patients. Although it is not possible to realize fully all three of these goals, they can condition and inform the design of a good system for financing health care. This paper discusses the application of these goals in more detail and use them to consider a reform of the system of Health Savings Accounts that was enacted as part of the 2003 Medicare legislation and, separately, the challenge posed by the very expensive treatments for rare diseases that are becoming more common.

Suggested Citation

Feldstein, Martin S., Balancing the Goals of Health Care Provision (June 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12279, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906757

Martin S. Feldstein (Contact Author)

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Harvard University (deceased)

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