Beware playing games with our health care system

At last, a sensible approach to the health care crisis in the U.S.

City Journal has posted an article, “Mandates Are Not the Answer,” by David Gratzer, a physician, and Paul Howard, a medical editor, who understand the fix we need is not as simple as the presidential candidates propose.

Our health care system didn’t get where it is overnight; it has been evolving — or devolving — for decades. It is extremely complicated and tightly interwoven with the national economy. No single whack-a-mole mandate will fix either. As Gratzer and Howard explain, it will take a series of small changes, a tweak here, a nudge there, observing carefully the effect of each adjustment before moving on to the next.

It’s the butterfly effect, if you will. The slightest change to one element could cause a huge, unanticipated change in another element. We’d all love to think, and the politicians love to declare, that a single sledge-hammer blow will solve the problem. Wrong. A hammer blow will more likely crush, not fix, the system.

If our health care system and national economy seem too complicated to grasp, picture a classic game of Pick Up Sticks. This is the way we need to approach the problem.

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One thought on “Beware playing games with our health care system

  1. But nothing else we have tried has actually worked. We might well take a chance and give mandates a chance. Inactions are always worst than wrong actions.
    I totally agree something needs to be done. I just think it must be done cautiously. It’s a very complex system, and a sweeping change of any kind, if it doesn’t work exactly as anticipated, could just add to the chaos. The wrong action could indeed be a lot worse than inaction. For example, two years into it, the Massachusetts health care system, with its mandates, reportedly is heavily in debt and could go broke in just a couple of years. Maybe we should see if it starts working properly before trying to do the same thing on a national level.

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