Balancing the Goals of Health Care Provision
20 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2006 Last revised: 26 Sep 2010
Date Written: June 2006
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.
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By Anil Kumar