Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dean of Harvard Medical School - Obamacare gets a failing grade

The dean of the Harvard Medical School takes to the pages of the Wall Street Journal today to give Obamacare a failing grade.

Jeffrey S. Flier:
In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care's dysfunctional delivery system....Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.
[emphasis mine]

None of that should surprise anyone, of course. Can even those philosophically in favor of nationalizing the health care system argue that the government is likely to make things better?

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