Re: Subject: Is Medicine Healthy?

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 05 Apr 1999 12:57:14 -0700

On 4/4/99, dave gobel wrote:
>...Has anyone done a study of health/mortality rates on those who self
>insure via MSAs (medical savings accounts) versus general health insurance?
>I would bet a ton of money that general health insurance would be shown to
>HARM health when compared with MSAs.

Given the small population of MSA users and the recency of MSA adoption, I'd be very suprised if any reasonable study has been done.

Btw, the main problem with MSAs in practice is price discrimination. The average actual hospital bill is about 1/4 of the list price charged to folks that just walk in the door. Group purchasing is essential to get a low price, but most MSA folks don't get group prices.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884 after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.