Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Reihan Said

I intend to write more about Singapore's approach to healthcare in the near future. I'll just make a simple observation: many on the left emphasize the virtues of the National Health Service, most strikingly the fact that health expenditures in the UK amount to roughly 8.4 percent of GDP, slightly more than half of what the public and private sectors spend on health in the United States. But Singapore, which has a system built around catastrophic insurance coverage and health savings accounts, spends less than 4 percent of GDP. And according to the World Health Organization, Singapore has the world's sixth best healthcare system, miles ahead of Britain or the United States. Rowan Callick wrote a brief and useful summary of the virtues of Singapore's approach in The American last spring.

To grossly oversimplify, Singapore relies on a mix of mandatory savings and universal catastrophic coverage. David Goldhill has proposed something similar for the U.S. in The Atlantic. So has Brad DeLong. Ross and I backed a similar approach in Grand New Party. And Ron Bailey made the case in Reason back in 2004.[link]

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