Some good stuff from Coyote Blog today:
We can spend the money you may have better than you can. We can also spend the money you don't have better than you can.
And this bit on the politicization of health care in a universal system:
...But Kaus is correct that if some high-powered and well-funded interest group gets behind a certain procedure, cost-effective or not, the government overlords of the program will likely approve it. As a result, for example, no potential treatment for breast cancer will ever be denied given the proven strength of women’s groups lobbying for breast cancer treatment (already, breast cancer research is hugely over-funded vs. other diseases given its mortality, due in large part to this powerful lobbying).
But it is not one dynamic or the other. Both will exist. There will be huge pressures to cut back somewhere, as costs skyrocket. And there will be huge pressure from certain interest groups to fund treatment for certain diseases in unlimited amounts. The result will not be, as Kaus posits, that everything will be funded more than it is today — the result will be that certain procedures and conditions with strong lobbying and political muscle will get funded more, with the difference being made up from cutting funding for conditions and procedures without a well-organized lobby.
Access to longer be determined by money, but by political pull.
The obvious downside will be further distortion and inefficiency of the health care system, and as I commented on Warren's blog, it is even worse than it appears. Other specialtieswill have to compete in the realm of lobbying to prevent losing their piece of the pie to a more vocal group, essentially wasting vast sums of money on infighting. Politicians will gain even more power by playing gatekeeper of resources to the highest bidder. We've already seen political contributions give an outstanding return on investment in all other areas, and health care will be no different.