I must confess. I’m not a frequent reader of Cato Institute publications. Many of them come off as overly-wonkish, Chamber of Commerce-approved reports. But I had heard good things about Charles Silver’s and David A. Hyman’s new book, Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care, and decided to give it a good cover-to-cover read. I’m glad I did.
It is easy to get angry reading this book. I’m sure my blood pressure increased a few points as they went through their litany of examples of fraud, waste and abuse, across both public (Medicare, Medicaid ) and private insurance systems. But it is an argument that must be made and that everyone should hear: Our system of 3rd party payers desensitizes healthcare consumers to costs and encourages over-consumption. This is encouraged by political control over the public programs, which is captured by the healthcare industry, to maximize the amount of taxpayers dollars transferred to this sector. The end result is the overly-costly system we have today. It is working by design.
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