This essay is an edited version of my remarks during the first panel of the Mississippi College Law Review’s symposium on health care reform, which was held on February 26, 2010, in Jackson, Mississippi. The essay integrates my prepared comments with my responses to comments and questions during the discussion period. I have also added some further thoughts on several of the issues that are relevant to the subject matter, especially in light of the subsequent passage of a major federal health reform bill. These remarks are necessarily brief, and they therefore can include only a hint of the issues that arise with respect to a subject as important as health care reform. These remarks do, however, provide an opportunity to describe some of the most important issues at stake in our continuing efforts to improve our health care system: the quality of care available, the number of people to whom care is provided, and the cost of providing that care. In future work, I will expand upon the ideas raised in this essay, focusing in particular on whether the 2010 health care law appears to be succeeding in reducing health care costs.
Neil H. Buchanan, Medicare Meets Mephistopheles: Health Care, Government Spending, and Economic Prosperity, 29 Miss. C. L. Rev. 319 (2010).