The Unschism on Health Care


Via Ezra Klein, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman calls attention to a potential “new schism in the debate about health reform.” This would be between “Delivery System Reformers” who are primarily interested in making health care more effective when it’s delivered to people on the one hand, and “Financing Reformers” who are primarily interested in securing affordable access to health care for as many people as possible.

It’s an excellent observation that these are different things and that the difference ought to be kept in mind. But it seems a bit odd to me to call this a “schism.” After all, there’s no contradiction between these two aspirations. As Ezra and, indeed, Altman says reform of the delivery system is integral to making universality affordable over the long run, and universality sets the context for delivery reform in many ways. At the margin, I’d definitely put myself in the “Delivery System” camp but it’s not really a choice.

Meanwhile, Ezra recommends that you download CAP’s book Reforming the Health Care Delivery System to learn more on this subject. It’s free! Enjoy.