In health care, fee-for-service means too many services
Imagine if Lyndon Johnson had given older Americans a right to free economic advice - to help them plan for retirement, say - and paid for it on a fee-for-service basis. Initially, the program would have provided modest and inexpensive advice to generally uninterested retirees. But over time, clever and ambitious economists would create scores of expensive new consulting services, all paid for by the federal government. Unfortunately, we did just this in health care.