The how and who of health care spending

Health care systems and universal health careThe age-old fatal progressive conceit rests on the idea that if only central planners had enough information, they could organize the masses, and reshape society for the better. That conceit rears its ugly head again in the form of a Sarah Kliff post at Ezra Klein’s Washington Post Wonkblog. Kliff can’t get through the post’s title without beginning to reveal her flawed assumptions:

What could revolutionize health care? This database.

Forget medical innovation or advances in dietary understanding, from a liberal’s perspective western medicine has gone as far as it can go. The only course now is handing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her minions nearly endless data with which to ‘understand’ and thus be justified in directing society’s health care system and financing.

So what’s the impetus for all this excitement?

Think of it as a health policy wonk’s dream: Football stadium after football stadium packed to the brim with…health insurance claims data.

My football stadium dreams would involve me playing QB for a Super Bowl champion, and anyone who’s ever dealt with health insurance claims would surely consider a football stadium’s worth to be a nightmare. But this might give us our best insight yet into the progressive mind… their dreams are about large government bureaucracies poring through data.  Continue reading