Patients' Bill of Rights Will Prompt Tough Choices

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 23:03:03 MDT

THE LIGHTHOUSE: July 9, 2001Thought this might prove helpful in the
healthcare discussion.


    from THE LIGHTHOUSE "Enlightening Ideas for Public Policy..." Vol. 3,
Issue 27 July 9, 2001

Although a proposed Patients' Bill of Rights is intended to protect patients
from abuses of the health care bureaucracy, it is likely to raise health
care costs and prompt health care bureaucrats to make tough choices that may
be diametrically opposed to patients' interests.

According to economist Roger Feldman, editor of AMERICAN HEALTH CARE
(Independent Institute, 2000), the Patients' Bill of Rights will likely make
health-insurance premiums increase. Add to that the outlays (as high as 30
percent) that many HMOs spent on new equipment, drugs and facilities, and it
becomes clear that health care costs won't be falling anytime soon.

With medical costs continuing to rise, and market-based approaches to
cost-containment being abandoned in favor of regulatory approaches, public
policy will increasingly revolve around such delicate questions as: Who
should decide where health care resources are allocated? How will spending
decisions change when the current Medicare surplus is eaten up by Medicare

During the presidental campaign, Feldman writes, both parites "sidestepped
the interplay of public and private responsibilities in health care. Now
that the campaign is over, for the sake of those who rely on health care
services, the [Bush] administration and the public must be ready to face the
tough questions."

See "Tough Health Care Choices: Should the Government Do Triage?" by Roger
D. Feldman,

To order AMERICAN HEALTH CARE: Government, Market Process and the Public
Interest, edited by Roger D. Feldman, see

Copyright 2001 The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428
(510) 632-1366 phone
(510) 568-6040 fax

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