Health policy being the most interesting part of my job, I have for some time fantasized about the idea of studying health policy in grad school. Health care is so fascinating! So complex and rich with nuance! So, well, broken!
In the last 12 months as the debate around health reform unfolded in DC, the area has become a painful one. I cringe almost every time the topic comes up - the misrepresentations, the half-truths, the simplifications, the half-baked partisan talking points - so much of it is quite insufferable .. and yet, I rarely miss a chance to read another article, watch another hearing, listen to another pundit on TV opine on the topic. On the one hand I continue to be immensely drawn to the subject, on the other hand, the more I witness the current debate, the more quixotic my interest in health policy seems. Given the frustrating politics of health reform, what good will it do for another person to study health policy, other than to satisfy some intellectual urge?
I guess I gradually came to this conclusion internally, but reading this post by Uwe Reinhardt, a health economist at Princeton, today I am compelled to finally say it out loud: studying this area is a complete waste of time.