Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by An alarmed economist on
The goal of universal health coverage is tantamount to fiscal suicide if people are not persuaded to avoid diseases through prevention. Why should taxpayers finance a lifetime of HIV treatment for someone who will not get circumcision or use a condom? Or cancer treatment for smokers? Or medications for a range of obesity-associated illnesses? Public money can be spent on many more beneficial programs (like universal access to clean water and prevention of diseases where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). Publicly-mandated coverage should be for illnesses that are a stroke of bad luck, not self-induced by foolish and irresponsible behaviors. The only sure result of the move to universal coverage is more jobs and incomes for doctors and others supplying the disease-care sector. Their self interest in a bigger and more costly health care sector is too evident, as they have adopted universal coverage as a goal at a time of huge and mounting fiscal pressures. Why do they not strive for more health, even "universal health", instead? The universal coverage goal points to the disease-care sector wanting more customers and to be paid. A goal of universal health would make the circumcisions, smoking bans, taxes on harmful junkfood and meat, taxes on alcohol, etc. far easier to implement, resulting in more health and less "health care".