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February 14, 2006

Bureaucracy and Competition

Conservatives often argue they want to replace inefficient government bureaucracy with lean competition that provides better service to beneficiaries of government services.

The problem is that competition itself oten creates far more bureaucracy and inefficiency. Just look at the Medicare Drug Bill debacle:

Drug plans require doctors and patients to obtain "prior authorization" for certain drugs on their formularies. The procedures vary by plan. One plan may have 25 or 30 forms for prior authorization for different drugs...

Ross W. Brickley, a pharmacist in Kinston, N.C., said he had requested prior authorizations for hundreds of drugs taken by Medicare patients in more than 20 plans, each with its own policies, forms and procedures.

American health care is a nightmare of multiple forms, paperwork and conflicting rules, all leading to wasted energy on filling out paperwork rather than doctors, pharmacists and other professionals spending their time on providing actual health care for patients.

A single prescription drug plan with a single set of rules would be far more efficient and less bureaucratic than this bureaucratic market competition of drug plans.

Posted by Nathan at February 14, 2006 07:36 AM