Tort reform and medical costs

Just noting for myself that there have been some apparently competent studies of the effect “tort reform” could have on medical costs.

The direct cost of malpractice insurance premiums and court verdicts, plus the cost of defensive medicine, together account for less than 2 percent of overall health-care spending.

Why are drug costs so high?

Apparently the cost of research and development isn’t the cause.

Large drug companies simply can’t afford to keep spending as much as they are now, when about 10% to 20% of revenue goes to R&D

That’s 10-20% of drug company revenue, not including the markup your pharmacy and “health insurance” company add.  I wonder how much of the remaining 80-90% is spent, directly or indirectly, on lobbying and enhancing their privileges.

“Health” care reform

I don’t see much thoughtful discussion of “health” care reform. (The quotes are because we’re really just talking about medical care.  Health is much more impacted by things like sewers, water treatment, and garbage collection than by physicians and hospitals). So I enjoyed this discussion of the Australian system compared to the U. S., with some talk of  the UK and France thrown in.  Especially the comments are enlightening.

The conclusion seems to be that to make decent medical care available pretty much universally and at a reasonable price, we need to squeeze the providers and work around the insurance companies. One commenter proposes mandatory catastrophic insurance combined with 100% consumer-paid routine care (which, to give this item a Georgist theme, can be funded out of the citizens’ dividend).  This is too reasonable to gain a fair trial in my lifetime.