OPINION: Why advocating universal free primary health care is irresponsible at best

Monday, August 31, 2015

For years I’ve thought that the conventional wisdom in the field of global health is so innocent of elementary economics that no real economist could possibly support it. By “conventional wisdom” I include all unconditional talk of free curative primary care. But in a recent Lancet article, Dean Jamison reports on a set of committee conclusions—the group was chaired by Larry Summers and included Kenneth Arrow and George Akerlof—that calls on every country, no matter what its circumstances, to commit to universal health care (and such a commitment must imply free curative primary care). I can no longer say that no “real” economist would say such a thing, since we are now talking about two Nobel Prize winners and Summers.

So, the argument has to be made explicitly, and people must think for themselves.

Source: Brookings (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health