We've taking a slightly different direction in this Extra...We're pleased to introduce our first EconTalk Playlist, along with some prompts for thinking about the economics of health and health care. If the Yamarik episode intrigued you, too, we hope you'll enjoy visiting (or revisiting!) these past health-related episodes.
We hope you enjoy it, and as always, we love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments, or start your own conversations offline.
Too much choice?
In economics, we consistently emphasize the value of individual choice. But according to Becy Liddicoat Yamarik, sometimes choice can be problematic. Indeed she wonders whether her own specialty- palliative care- is really necessary. Is the complexity of end-of-life care today simply too great?
Is there something about the human brain that prevents us from thinking rationally about health care, as Robin Hanson suggests in this 2007 episode? Think about some of the patient stories Yamarik relates. To what extent can Hanson's argument explain the behavior of any of these patients and/or their families?
Costs and consequences
Do programs like Medicaid have the (unintended?) consequence of reducing individual's stress regarding their health and health care, as the Oregon Medicaid study seemed to suggest? What are the effects of the Medicare and Medicaid on the sorts of end-of-life issues Yamarik faces each day?
Why do we face seemingly more end-of-life issues today? In this 2008 episode with Steven Lipstein, he suggests that as a result of cost-sharing, people defer health care expenditures, later suffering hospitalizations and/or complications that may have been avoidable. To what extent is this a convincing explanation?
Why does palliative care so often "infantilize" patients, as D.G. Myers suggests? How can palliative care be improved?