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Oct 14, 2009


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Travis Greene

"The pragmatic approach – directing public resources to where they have the most health benefits for a given cost – historically achieved far more than the moral approach."

And why would we direct any public resources without the moral approach?

Michael W. Kruse

Two people.

Wealthy person. By spending an additional $10,000 a year on health regimen over the next 20 years we can add 3 months to her life expectancy her life.

Poor person. By spending an additional $1,000 a year on a health regimen over the next 20 years we can add 3 years to her life expectancy ... and to one hundred of her neighbors.

The wealthy person is better positioned to press her "right to healthcare" over against the those with poverty. Resources end up being routed away from those who could most benfit.

Easterly is making the case that this what happened with AIDS drugs in Africa. Upper and middle class people pursued their right to healthcare rather than bearing than footing the cost themselves and freeing up resources for those in need. As long as it is a right, the wealthy can't be denied free access.

Travis Greene

I get it. I just wouldn't position that point against "morality". I agree, rights language is problematic in this and other areas. I'd rather talk about a moral responsibility.

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