Letter from America

The Political Economics of US Healthcare Reform

Published in: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, v. 102, no. 4, Apr. 2009, p. 129-133

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Rubin Minhas, Claus Wendt

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Lack of universal coverage and uncontained costs lie at the heart of the 'broken' American healthcare system and the current reforms do not offer an easy or assured approach to reducing both in the near term. Despite high expectations, the proposed investments are likely to be inflationary and any cost savings are likely to be longer term. Aspiring to universal coverage is more feasible than reducing costs that require some stakeholders to lose in order for the government to achieve its savings. The economic price attached to the current reforms is considerable and so controversy is inevitable. Nevertheless, Obama's election and his proposed reforms mark a significant political milestone.

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