Friday, August 19, 2011

Kelleher--You Need a Third Law

Paul Kelleher, a great blogger at Something Not Unlike Research, has provided some thoughtful comments about the second of the "two laws" that I say govern all health care systems at the beginning of Chapter 3 in my book Balancing the Budget is a Progressive Priority:
  • Everyone dies
  • Before that, the healthy subsidize the sick
Paul is a philosopher by training and says:
I am interested in the moral and conceptual issues connected to Taylor's Second Law and its corollary that health policy is fundamentally about how the healthy will subsidize the sick.
Go and read Paul's post as it is a very thoughtful explication of what underlies what I call the second law. He is correct that I mostly think of the second law as a statement of fact, but reading his post lets me know I need to think a bit more about this, especially since it is stated as a "law." The challenge of stating a third law strikes me as important, especially given that our country needs to learn to talk more explicitly about the difficult public policy decisions and trade-offs inherent with health care reform.

1 comment:

  1. Never quite thought about it this way, but it makes sense. The dilemma then, is how do we get people to accept the second principle? Even more, how should that subsidy be?