HEALTH CARE COSTS: Society Can Pay More for Better Coverage
Noting that in "health care as in other services, we are forced to acknowledge that you get what you pay for," Director of the University of California-Los Angeles Research Program on Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy William Comanor asserts in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed that the "real issue is how much health care do we as a society wish to purchase, and how much can we do without?" Addressing the dilemma of controlling health care expenditures while simultaneously offering adequate levels of care, Comanor states that although "there are no easy cost-savings to be tapped ... as a society, we can decide to purchase this additional care." Noting that the choice is between "further tax cuts or increased government expenditures on health care," Comanor suggests that the government could tap part of the budget surplus or offer subsidies to employers or employees to "provide more generous insurance packages for working Americans." Comanor also suggests that legislators could "directly subsidize hospitals and clinics for providing health care at low or minimal costs to their patients." Although "increased government expenditures are required" to increase the scope of health care in the country, Comanor warns that "[w]e cannot have more than we are willing to pay for but we can decide to pay for more" (Comanor, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.