A recent Annals of Internal Medicine article, Medicine and Public Issues: Major Concepts of Health Care Economics, written for physicians (i.e., not economists or health policy experts!) applies major economic concepts, such as supply, demand, monopoly, monopsony, adverse selection, and moral hazard, to central features of U.S. health care. These illustrations help explain some of the principal problems of health policy-high cost and the uninsured-and why solutions are difficult to obtain.
Use this paper to consider the following:
- What are the drivers of "supply" in health care? How does scale matter? Who and what determines the available supply?
- What is demand? How does the presence of insurance alter the demand? Why is demand hard to predict, and what are the implications for health care policy?