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Balancing the Goals of Health Care Provision

  • Martin Feldstein

A desirable system for providing and financing health care would achieve three goals: (1) preventing the deprivation of care because of a patient's inability to pay; (2) avoiding wasteful spending; and (3) allowing care to reflect the different tastes of individual patients. Although it is not possible to realize fully all three of these goals, they can condition and inform the design of a good system for financing health care. This paper discusses the application of these goals in more detail and use them to consider a reform of the system of Health Savings Accounts that was enacted as part of the 2003 Medicare legislation and, separately, the challenge posed by the very expensive treatments for rare diseases that are becoming more common.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12279.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12279.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Publication status: published as Feldstein, Martin. "Balancing The Goals of Health Care Provision and Financing." Health Affairs Vol 25, No 6, 1603-1611. November/December 2006
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12279
Note: HC PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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