Americans don’t want government-based cost effectiveness in health care

Cost effectiveness health care coverage decisions are part of governing in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Australia. It’s part of how those countries manage health care technology.

We don’t do that in the U.S., though as Nick pointed out yesterday, PCORI certainly could. But, according to a new survey, Americans don’t want it to.

Most of the overall study population opposed a government CER [cost effectiveness research] agency. About 56% of respondents would oppose such an agency []. Democrats and Independents were about evenly split on the issue, while a significantly smaller percentage of Republicans would support such an agency (26.9%). Younger respondents, aged 18 to 29 years, were significantly more likely to support an agency (64.7%) than respondents 65 years or older (31.2%). […]

This study should offer a warning to the research community that, despite the cost-saving potential of CER, it is likely to engender widespread opposition when put into practice in the United States—particularly if decisions are widely known by the public. Growing health care spending will require smarter choices on the part of health care payers and consumers. This research suggests that the public often will not support the federal government making those decisions for them.

What is not addressed in this survey is the extent to which Americans would accept non-government approach to CER. If, say, private plans made CER-informed coverage decisions transparently, would consumers voluntarily accept those decisions in exchange for lower premiums?

It’s not enough to just say “no” and forget about this issue. At some point we will have to come to terms with health care technology. It’s a main, if not the main, driver of health care spending growth. It demands management, somehow, but, so far, we’ve acted as if we can have everything forever and at any price.


Hidden information below


Email Address*