Ezra Klein, one of the sharp young observers of healthcare reform, has a perceptive post the other day on his blog at The American Prospect about what needs to come together for our efforts to make over the way we deliver and finance healthcare work. I like some of his ideas about what he calls "smart cost sharing."
We have to do a better job of providing reliable information to consumers of healthcare. At the same time, we have to put in place mechanisms that fairly allow people to get access to the healthcare they want while at the same time requiring them to bear a larger share of costs for treatment that, relatively speaking, hasn’t been shown to be efficacious. People can still get the care they really want or believe in. But it may cost them more than care that has a more clearly proven track record.
There’s no way to avoid the reality that a big part of future healthcare reforms will have to tackle the fact that healthcare costs have been increasing at a much faster rate than the general rate of inflation. That can't go on.