Rationing Rationale

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Stan Cox, a senior scientist at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas and the author of Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing, looks at how goods and services have been, and are now, rationed and asks if we can limit consumption fairly.


Stan Cox

Comments [11]

Margaret from UWS Manhattan

Re.the cost of quinoa: Proverbs 13:23 "Much food is in the tillage of the poor; but there is that is destroyed for want of judgement." They, and others in their situation, should have the judgement to feed their own people, selling at a lower price, while profiting more from most of their crop because of increased popularity of their product. I call it the human loophole in capitalism. Prov. 13:26 "The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want." Maybe the availability of a little less of the total crop would raise the price of it higher, so they come out even. To the UN and aid organizations: advise farmers in developing countries to count feeding their local fellow citizens a higher priority, in balance with export profit. Nourishment and locavorism.

May. 02 2013 06:08 PM
TF01 from nyc


Regarding your first question, better reimbursement for primary care to manage chronic diseases. Right now the fee for service system and lack of insurance coverage focuses care towards treating acute situations instead of preventing these. There are some current examples of good primary care in pockets of the US. Separate but related, there are lifestyle modification programs that are now well reimbursed by Medicare and have strong clinical data supporting their efficacy. Unfortunately, these programs are not yet widely implemented.

Regarding your second question, I am not sure what you mean by free healthcare, but I assume you are referring to the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Providing insurance coverage to the uninsured is intended to get people to seek treatment for chronic diseases early in primary care as opposed to later in the emergency room or hospital where the costs are much higher. It is unclear to me whether this will work in our current system without improvements in primary care.

Related to this, I never think healthcare should be completely free to the consumer except perhaps certain preventive care but at least some of cost should be shared by the consumer. Also, providing incentives through lower healthcare insurance premiums for lowering their risk factors (smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc) is another method for sharing cost/risk and creating incentives for consumers.

May. 02 2013 12:20 PM
Ed from Larchmont

The market is supposed to work to distribute goods in an optimal way.

May. 02 2013 11:55 AM
Christine from Yorktown

TF01: how do you figure we're going to get people to stop doing things that result in health issues? Smoking, over-eating etc. I know NYC thinks it's going to nanny state us to health but the fact is, people don't take responsibility and the costs are staggering. You don't think that having "free" healthcar is going to cause an increase in use, increase in cost?

May. 02 2013 11:48 AM
Phoebe from bushwick

In New Mexico, water is very scarce. There is a tiered system for water payments. You get a small amount a month at a very low price. The more you use, the higher the price per gallon. It has been effective, except with the very rich. It has also led to such as examples of conspicuous consumption as building a golf course in the middle of the desert for the very wealthy.

May. 02 2013 11:46 AM
John A

A ruler that doesn't regulate doesn't rule.

May. 02 2013 11:44 AM
TF01 from nyc

Rationing in healthcare is a red herring.

If we do away with the fee for service payment model and do better preventing and treating chronic diseases we can spend far less on healthcare with better quality.

May. 02 2013 11:40 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The solution will be that no one will have adequate healthcare.

May. 02 2013 11:40 AM
John A

Look at today's segments: more sex, more drugs, more electricity. This is a country that has largely lost it's ability to self control.

May. 02 2013 11:40 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Rationing brings to mind Obamacare, which will involve rationing.

May. 02 2013 11:38 AM
John A

It's great that this is the man who gave us "Loosing Our Cool", because due to A/C and climate change, I will loose my power completely an average of twice a summer. Regional blackouts. Smart caps on usage preferred!

May. 02 2013 11:24 AM

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