More on moral hazard…

I’d rather not restart the drawn-out debate about HSAs on the Sacramento Bee Crossroads blog that I’ve been having with former Assemblyman Keith Richman, HSA salesman Dr. James Knight, and the moderator Daniel Weintraub.

But the reason I got drawn in to the back-and-forth was not just that I couldn’t leave so many statements unchallenged, but that the debate seemed to go to the very core of the health care debate: between community solutions vs. individual burdens, between blaming rising costs on patients or the health care industry, between whether health care consumers are getting a free ride or suffering under medical costs, between whether patients get too much care or too little; between faith in the market vs. evidence of market failure, and finally about the value of the very concept of coverage.

I referenced lots of studies in the Crossroads debate, but one article I should have linked to was this Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker, which talks about the concept of “moral hazard” that undergirds much health policy, and which he is effective at debunking in the context of health care. It’s a good read and good background…

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