The Wicked Problem of Healthcare

July 20th, 2017 · 12 mins

About this Episode

There will never be as much as we want to go around.

Take any population, large or small, and imagine creating a spreadsheet with one row for each woman, man and child. Now, imagine the first column in that spreadsheet for a given row contains the amount of healthcare spending that person — or others, on their behalf — will want over a given period of time. For the purposes of this exercise, this first column is cost-no-object. If there the smallest possibility a given medication or therapy will help that person, throw its cost into column A for that person’s row.

To help with this exercise if you are doing it on behalf of your child, wife, husband or parent, think about what medication or therapy you would be prepared to forego in order to make sure there is enough to go around for everybody. This is a trick question: the answer is very likely zero...

Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. Your comments about the podcast are welcome below and if you liked it, please share it with your social networks. A version of this essay previously appeared on Medium on May 8th, 2017. Thanks so much for listening. (header photo: Florence Nightingale in the hospital at Scutari in 1856. Used under Wikimedia CC 4.0.)

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