This is a long piece, but a very interesting analysis of the problems of health care economics that no one is really talking about. The author isn’t necessarily hostile to the reform proposals and hopes they will do something positive; he just thinks there are deeper problems. His focus is on distortions in the doctor-patient and hospital-patient relationship driven by the insertion of the insurance agency (whether private or government) as the intermediary that pays the bills, which stops the patient from acting like a price-sensitive consumer or being treated as a customer entitled to customer service.
Here’s how the editors introduce the piece:
After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.