Austin and I have a piece over at Bloomberg View:
The U.S. spends $2.8 trillion a year on health care, about 18 percent of the economy. As recently reported, some of that spending is on Medicare-reimbursed eyelid lifts — a procedure that sometimes serves a medical need but often is for cosmetic enhancement.
Most would agree Medicare should pay for medical need, not to make seniors look better. How could the program better distinguish between the two?
This instance reflects a more general challenge about public (or even private) coverage of health care: how we use collective funds to pay for more of what we need and less for the things that don’t enhance health but that some may want.