Welcome to Open Health Policy, where healthcare scholars from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University share their opinions, research, and policy prescriptions on healthcare in the US. We have varied research interests, but we are particularly focused on the effectiveness and solvency of public insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare, public health policies and politics, healthcare markets and healthcare financing. These topics will feature prominently in our writings, but we will address other issues when necessary.
Healthcare in the US is a Hydra-like monster — expensive, confusing, and captured by interest groups. And yet, the outcomes are average at best. To many, the key to slaying the monster is a “single payer” system. We disagree; it is governments, and those who have captured them, who control healthcare in the US. We never seem to run out of new people or conditions to be covered by Medicaid. More than eighty million Americans are on Medicaid and another 65 million on Medicare. Public health has evolved from focusing on preventing communicable and infectious diseases to being a dumping ground for social policy failures such as racism, gun violence, and climate change.
What should you expect? A clear voice on these issues with a bias towards common sense and the free market. Some posts will be three thousand words and others, just a couple of paragraphs. Some posts will be heavy on analysis. Among other things, we will propose policies, review proposals from others, and comment on journal articles. Overall, this will ring true: public insurance programs should be narrowly focused on the most vulnerable; for the rest, we should rely on effective markets with sensible regulations that ensure continuous innovation and access to care. Public health should focus on disease prevention and control and leave social problems to politicians.