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Do We Suffer From TOO Much Health Care? (Guest: George Hosu)

May 5, 2022

We’ve heard the saying that the treatment can be worse than the disease. Sometimes too many choices and treatment options make health outcomes worse, not better.

We’ve heard the saying that treatment can be worse than the disease. Sometimes too many choices and treatment options make health outcomes, worse, not better. Every treatment presents a risk. This includes over the counter, self-help measures. It is hard to measure the benefit of doing nothing versus seeking some sort of treatment. Sometimes, conditions resolve more quickly with no intervention.

George Hosu, founding engineer of Eureka Health, joins the show to discuss his recent article on Medium, “Why Doesn’t Healthcare Improve Health?” Hosu cites the extensive work of Robin Hanson, presents several hypothesis on why spending more and increasing access may not improve outcomes, and explains how he personally determines the value of an intervention.

The healthcare industry gobbles up 19.7 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. spends about $12,530 a person on health care. Yet there are gaps in outcomes. The U.S. ranked 18th in highest number of COVID-19 deaths.  Deaths from drug overdoses are on the rise. The U.S. has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Hosu and host AnneMarie Schieber discuss the value of placebos, the limitations of randomized control trials, and how the third-party payer system impacts personal health care decisions.
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Health Care
Author
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform.
amschieber@heartland.org @HCPolicy