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Proceedings Paper

Is there a need for health care rationing?
Author(s): Mary Ann Baily
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Paper Abstract

Rising expenditures on health care have become a major cause for public concern. Attention focuses on the level of expenditures and the increasing share they take of GNP, but for most Americans, the real issue is not how much society spends, but what it gets for the money. There are several ways in which it could be said that the United States fails to get full value for the dollars spent on health care. Some care does not benefit, or even harms, those who receive it. Some care is beneficial but could be produced with fewer resources. Some care is efficiently produced and yields benefits, but the benefits are not worth their cost. And finally, despite the system's cost, many people are excluded from it and thus fail to receive care of great benefit. The need to address the problem of wasteful care is relatively uncontroversial. Everyone agrees that it would be desirable to eliminate care of no benefit and to produce beneficial care as efficiently as possible. There is also a growing consensus that steps must be taken soon to improve access. There is far less agreement on what, if anything, needs to be done about care whose benefits are not worth their cost. The public's limited understanding of this issue is an obstacle to good health policy. Meaningful debate about health care reform must include open and informed discussion of the extent to which different reform proposals will restrict beneficial care, how they will do it, and how well the results will reflect the preferences and values of the

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 1995
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2499, Health Care Technology Policy II: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care: Providing the Solutions, (27 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.225344
Show Author Affiliations
Mary Ann Baily, George Washington Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2499:
Health Care Technology Policy II: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care: Providing the Solutions
Warren S. Grundfest M.D., Editor(s)

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