Skip navigation
A. How Managed Care Leaves Some People In the Dust

Narrator: The managed care revolution is leaving some folks in the dust. This is Science Today. More and more Americans are getting health insurance through managed care. Health economist James Robinson of the University of California, Berkeley says that while it's helping contain costs, it's not doing anything to help the huge percentage of working Americans with no health insurance at all.

Robinson: Managed care by itself, or competition, they do not provide insurance for the uninsured. For most people, let's face it, that are uninsured, if they're going to get insured it's going to have to be through some sort of a subsidy which is ultimately going to have to come from the taxpayer. That's really in the end the only way it's going to happen.

Narrator: But in the short run, says Robinson, that's not going to happen -- taxpayers are in no mood to subsidize the uninsured.

Robinson: The only contribution that managed care could make to that is to the extent that managed care is successful in slowing or stopping the growth of costs, then at least the problem's not getting any worse. Because the root problem of lack of insurance is that health care costs so much. If health care didn't cost so much it would be easier to convince the taxpayer to cover everybody.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.