A top economic health researcher says the coronavirus reveals the biggest weaknesses of our healthcare system
Economic health researcher Katherine Baicker says in the case of contagious diseases like coronavirus, it improves the health of the entire community if everyone else has access to healthcare.
Baicker says the lack of coordination within the US healthcare system has exacerbated shortages because resources cannot be moved to where they are needed when they are needed. Instead, states and hospitals are bidding against each other, she says.
The US healthcare and health insurance systems are really a patchwork of different programs, which creates gaps and expensive inefficiencies, according to Baicker.
Baicker says, “This epidemic is highlighting not only shortcomings in our patchwork insurance system but also a lack of public health surveillance that would let us identify and treat early, as early as possible, a potential outbreak.”
She says Medicare For All would not fix the inefficiencies where public money is used on expensive treatments with limited health benefits. Baicker adds that expanding Medicaid could be a better option.
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Katherine Baicker is a leading health economics researcher and dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. She spoke with Business Insider about the changes America needs to make to its healthcare system to prepare for another pandemic. Following is a transcript of the video.
Sara Silverstein: Kate, in situations like these where we have contagious diseases, why does it benefit everyone for other people to have health insurance?
Katherine Baicker: That’s a great question because most of the time when we talk about expanding health insurance, the main people who benefit from that are the newly insured who get access to care that improves their health and that’s the main benefit. But in the case of contagious disease, clearly, my health affects the health of my family and my neighbors and my community. So we all have a much stronger interest in ensuring that everyone has access to care for contagious diseases.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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