Saturday, August 30, 2008

John Stossel's Perspective on WV Certificate of Need Law

Yesterday's Daily Mail article reports that John Stossel, co-anchor of ABC's 20/20 speaking at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's Business Summit spoke out against West Virginia's Certificate of Need laws. Stossel argues that free market is better than regulation of health care.

Regulation vs. free market makes for great conversation. The debate as it relates to health care is made more complex when we have a largely single payor (government funded) health care reimbursement system in West Virginia. I don't know the actual statistics but well over half and probably near 75% of health care costs are paid in West Virginia by Medicare, Medicaid, PEIA and other government payors. As for private payors we only have a few that have any influence in West Virgina. This makes West Virginia close to a microcosm for a wwhat a single payor government run health care system might look like. What impact does this stagnation of competition on charges/costs have on the regulation vs. free market question. Is a single payor system better for West Virginia and the U.S.? Interesting questions as we approach the election in November.

Also, in my inbox this morning was an email from friend and health colleague, Mike Ryan, letting me know about the HealthDecisions '08: Obama and McCain on Health Care. Although I haven't had a chance to explore the site in detail I like the side by side comparison on the main page.

The press release indicates:
HealthDecision '08 by is an initiative to inform, educate and deploy the power of the web to gather public opinion on the health care proposals put forth by Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. HealthDecision '08 provides a side-by-side comparison of Obama's and McCain's healthcare positions and proposals, along with interactive voting tools that enable users to vote for their preferred health care plan and offer their own comments after weighing through the issues.
What do others think? Post your comments.

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