Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Links: Colvin, Conko, WSJ

Geoff Colvin of Fortune asks, "Why can't we fix Medicare once and for all?" (H/T: Dr. Beth Haynes.)

In particular, Colvin notes that we have the choice between the Brute Force approach and the People Aren't Dummies approach. The first has failed, and it's time to try the second. (Note: I don't necessarily agree with his endorsement of the Ryan plan).

In the 6/20/2011 Wall Street Journal, Greg Conko of CEI writes, "There's No 'Average' Cancer Patient". The FDA's reliance statistics and collectivized health measures jeopardizes individual patients. (H/T: Tom Bowden.)

As Conko notes:
The weakness of the FDA's reasoning here is that averages ignore that individual patients respond differently to treatments. Particularly with life-threatening illnesses, where the downside of any treatment is relatively small, average or median survivability too often masks the fact that some patients respond very well.
The 6/19/2011 WSJ editorial also describes, "The Accountable Care Fiasco". The basic premise behind ACOs is that government micro-management can guarantee good health care.

(As I noted in my recent TownHall piece, this is just the latest incarnation of the "central planner fallacy" applied to modern health care.)