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Opinion: Cutting heathcare spending the old-fashioned way

The Washington Post, January 17, 2012

It turns out that there is a way to control health spending: clobber the economy. When unemployment rises, people lose health insurance. They see doctors less often; they put off elective surgery; they cut back on drugs. Even people with insurance behave similarly, because their pay may be down, they worry about job security or they want to avoid out-of-pocket costs for deductibles or co-payments. Of course, almost no one advocates this as a deliberate policy. But it does seem to work. Call it the Neanderthal Cure to Health Costs.