Saturday, July 04, 2009

Universal Access: More Than One Model

I have commented before about the narrowness of the arguments about universal access to health care. What I mean is that most of the time the examples are limited to three. There are arguments about the Canadian model and the British model – usually discussions of their limitations – and about the American model – usually its strengths, although it isn’t really a model of universal access. I have commented before that other nations have other models, and manage to provide universal access to care, almost always at less expense as a percentage of GDP, and almost always with better outcome statistics.

An article in today’s Kansas City Star, my hometown paper, tries to address this. The author, Scott Canon, has looked at a variety of models. He’s also sought comments from a variety of experts on them.

This is a comment article in a paper, and not a scholarly review. On the other hand, it’s the first effort I’ve seen at least trying to show that other nations are using a variety of tools to offer provide universal access. Each model has its strengths and limitations. Each involves some hard political decision-making, and some rationing. On the other hand, our model also involves some hard political decision-making, and involves rationing, however hard we try to deny it.

Take a look at the article. It won’t resolve arguments one way or another. However, it will offer images of more than just three ways of addressing health care needs. That by itself is worth the time and trouble.


Mark said...

Father, hope nobody sees this. I used the newspaper article with some friends and they thought I really knew the subject. Thanks. Frank

Marshall said...

Well, a good resource is worth quoting. But, you know, you are supposed to identify your sources.