Health Care (scary music)

Everyone is all fired up about Megan McArdle’s recent contributions to the health care debate. (two links there).

I mostly ignore this stuff (and haven’t read her articles, actually) because I don’t think there are many interesting or constructive conversations going on about healthcare. Robin Hanson is talking some sense, as usual, and is homing in on my own instinctive aversion to this debate.

First, the bottom line:

For many decades health economists have known that the best available evidence shows little or no relation at the margin between med and health. 

So, uh… huh?

neither side wants to contradict the US public, which has a religious-style faith in the healing powers of medicine. 

This strikes a chord with me. In the past, have I been more likely to be impressed by a doctor’s knowledge or surprised by his/her ignorance? Definitely the latter. I’ve walked in assuming they know everything. It’s the highest status profession on earth. Maybe that’s a problem.

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