Super Freakonomics Review

Posted on Posted in Books, Reviews/Commentary

I have mixed feelings about the plans being pushed for national healthcare plans. Yes, healthcare insurance is an issue, but is insurance necessarily the root of problem?  It is easy to point at greedy insurance barons and assume that knocking them off will fix the system.  It won’t though.

I was reading the book “Super Freakonomics” last night and a lot of their analysis of healthcare issues focuses on the costs associated with doctors giving people treatments near death that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to only extend life a very short time.

A friend of mine likes to point out how our real problems with health costs are rooted in medical advances having made it so that we can keep people alive longer, but that the cost of those advances also become a huge burden on the system.  In his mind, the ‘death panel’ concept is something that would actually fix the problem, although obviously no one would ever support those methods.  No one wants to imagine cost shortening the life of their grandmother by a few months in order to benefit the fiscal stability of the country.

In the end, my biggest concern is really how we’re going to pay for this new entitlement program?

The obvious answer is simply raising taxes.  And I’ve seen arguments like ‘Well, it is a start’ and ‘We had to so something.’  With all of the side-deals/’payoffs’ to get votes and obvious push to pass something (anything?) before fall campaigns start, it just looks  short-sighted by the Democrats.  The Republicans are in a position to exploit the situation either way – regardless of if a plan passed or not.

Levitt, Steven D., and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2009. Print.
—. SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2011. Print.



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