NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Balancing the Goals of Health Care Provision

Martin Feldstein

NBER Working Paper No. 12279
Issued in June 2006
NBER Program(s):   HC   PE

A desirable system for providing and financing health care would achieve three goals: (1) preventing the deprivation of care because of a patient's inability to pay; (2) avoiding wasteful spending; and (3) allowing care to reflect the different tastes of individual patients. Although it is not possible to realize fully all three of these goals, they can condition and inform the design of a good system for financing health care. This paper discusses the application of these goals in more detail and use them to consider a reform of the system of Health Savings Accounts that was enacted as part of the 2003 Medicare legislation and, separately, the challenge posed by the very expensive treatments for rare diseases that are becoming more common.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12279

Published: Feldstein, Martin. "Balancing The Goals of Health Care Provision and Financing." Health Affairs Vol 25, No 6, 1603-1611. November/December 2006

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