RAND Health Economics Director Addresses Long-Term Health Costs
"California Connected" -- a weekly, hourlong newsmagazine produced by PBS stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco that covers state events and issues -- on Friday included an interview with Dana Goldman, director of health economics at RAND Health and professor of health services and radiology at the University of California-Los Angeles, about how to address long-term, increased health care costs.
According to Goldman, if the U.S. does not address health care costs, "it's very realistic" that the proportion of "society's wealth" spent on health care could increase over time from the approximately 15% spent currently to more than 20%, so that consumers would have less to spend on other items. Goldman said, "The people who have good insurance will be very lucky, because they're going to get access to a very high-tech, very well done medical system," adding, "But there will be a lot of people who are looking in from the outside and wondering how do they get it."
Goldman said that health care issues should be addressed with long-term strategies, as changes will occur over 20 to 50 years, adding, "But we have a political process in the United States that's focused on two to six years. The election cycle. And so it's never anyone's problem to deal with it long-term."
Goldman also discussed the potential development of medications and technologies to extend lives, the ethical implications of increased life expectancies and the impact of demographic changes on public policy ("California Connected," KVIE, 1/27).
The complete segment is available online in Quicktime media format.