Healthcare Some More II

A more current piece by Malcolm Gladwell (originally published in the New Yorker), refining his views on healthcare in America.

“But moral hazard has profoundly shaped the way think tanks formulate policy and the way experts argue and the way health insurers structure their plans and the way legislation and regulations have been written. The health-care mess isn’t merely the unintentional result of political dysfunction, in other words. It is also the deliberate consequence of the way in which American policymakers have come to think about insurance.

“‘Moral hazard’ is the term economists use to describe the fact that insurance can change the behavior of the person being insured. … Insurance can have the paradoxical effect of producing risky and wasteful behavior. Economists spend a great deal of time thinking about such moral hazard for good reason. Insurance is an attempt to make human life safer and more secure. But, if those efforts can backfire and produce riskier behavior, providing insurance becomes a much more complicated and problematic endeavor.”

It’s a great piece that sheds light on the current thinking about healthcare in the U.S.