Counter-intuitive findings

January 30th, 2008

More medical treatment doesn’t (necessarily) make you better.

Health ‘economics’ is a very tricky area – most of the usual rules of economics go out the window when people start to have near-infinite demands for healthcare. But the underlying idea here is interesting – in the US system you can buy as much healthcare as you or your insurance company can afford. And, as you can’t judge marginal benefits of health treatments very well, this probably means you’ll buy too much. In socialised systems such as the UK there’s a far more brutal attention paid to the effectiveness of treatment, because everything they do for you is less treatment for someone else. Maybe that’s not the worst idea in the world.