Code Red: Two Economists Examine the U.S. Healthcare System

March 22, 2010

An Interview with Will White

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Dranove and Craig Garthwaite (from Oct 11, 2013) @ 10:00 am

David: Will, welcome back to the Midwest, where the foul smell from sausage making in DC will take another day or two to waft over. Does Cornell’s NCAA success take the sting out of the DC debacle?

Will: It’s really nice to have something to root for.

David: What do you make of the tax implications of Pelosicare?

Will; I don’t understand what they have done and it will take us decades before we fully grasp the consequences.

David: Sounds a bit like Medicare in 1965, yet that program has proven highly successful. Do you see an analogy?

Will: I am hopeful there will be significant reductions in the number of uninsured. A key question is whether the exchange will be successful.

David: Medicare and Medicaid ended up costing something like ten times their initial projections. As a nation we could afford it then. What about now?

Will: I guess the interesting question is whether we are going to be serious about raising taxes. Let’s be honest, Medicare going forward is a disaster waiting to happen whether this legislation passed or not.

David: But won’t the present round of taxes make it harder to fund Medicare in the future?

Will: The history of these programs is to grow in the early years and try cost containment later on. I can only hope that we get serious about cost containment. Clearly, the tax options are more limited.

David: Last question. Would you have voted for the bill as written yesterday afternoon?

Will: If I had read it, maybe. That would have put me in the minority amongst its supporters.

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