In the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic it is easy to both remain stunned by the pandemic’s impact and long for some kind of normalcy. That is certainly true for health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean, which were hit hard and are struggling to recover. But what should recovery look like? While it is tempting to be nostalgic about pre-pandemic times, those were … [Read more...] about Can We Do Better than Normal for Health?
Health Spending and Financing
In the early 1960s, when United States healthcare expenses reached 3% of GDP, members of the U.S. Congress were so outraged that they held hearings to address such an unsustainable level of spending. The passing years have shown that 3% was not only sustainable, it was cheap. Today, healthcare spending in the United States is over 17% of GDP. The countries of … [Read more...] about Can We Afford a Healthy Future?
A major policy focus in moving toward UHC (Universal Health Coverage) has been on the key policy question: what services should be made available and under what conditions? And health benefits packages (HBPs) are an answer to this question as they refer to explicitly defined services that can be feasibly financed and provided under the actual circumstances in which a given … [Read more...] about The hidden beauty of costing health
The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting lives and economies. The World Bank estimates global GDP losses of US$12 trillion over 2020-2021, implying a US$500 million benefit to ending the pandemic just one month sooner. In this context, we need access to a safe and effective vaccine on a faster schedule than ever before achieved for a new disease. This will require significant … [Read more...] about 3 reasons why countries should purchase COVID-19 Vaccines at Risk
The COVID-19 pandemic has led millions of people to simultaneously lose their jobs and their health coverage, making the idea of funding health insurance with labor taxes look like a pretty bad idea. Yet the flaws of labor-tax financed social health insurance are not news to people who have reviewed the history and evidence of social health insurance, as explained in a newly … [Read more...] about Four reasons why labor taxes are not a good way to finance healthcare in low- and middle-income countries