Saturday, February 13, 2010

Obvious but important & contested fact of the day — Assured access to health care helps make people healthier (Austin Frakt, via Kevin Drum)

For background and context, read the piece by economist Austin Frakt that Kevin Drum links to below, as well as some other relevant items (most of them with cross-links) from Megan McArdle, Matt Yglesias, Andrew Sullivan, & Ezra Klein. [Update here.]

Meanwhile, Kevin gets right to the point here (cogently responding, in the process, to a standard right-wing line that when people get to the point of being very sick they can always go to an emergency room).

--Jeff Weintraub
Mother Jones
Friday, February 12, 2010
Quote of the Day: Health Insurance
Kevin Drum

From Austin Frakt, a health economist at Boston University:

The evidence that insurance and the access to care it facilitates improves health, particularly for vulnerable populations (due to age or chronic illness, or both) is as close to an incontrovertible truth as one can find in social science.

No argument from me. Routine access to medical care is cheaper than emergency room visits, promotes preventive medicine, reduces pain, increases mobility and employability, lowers stress, prevents medical bankruptcies, and — unless none of this stuff matters at all — almost certainly lengthens lives.