Primarily based on a examine by Frankovic and Kuhn (2022), the reply is each. Nevertheless, the worth of elevated innovation–as measured via longevity positive factors–greater than offset inefficiencies from overspending. Particularly, the authors use an overlapping generations mannequin the place people can buy medical insurance and medical progress relies on well being care sector return on funding. The authors calibrate their mannequin utilizing longevity information from the Human Mortality Database from 19650 via 2005, earnings information from the Present Inhabitants Survey (CPS) and well being care spending information from the Nationwide Middle for Well being Statistics (NCHS). This timeframe is related as 1965 was the yr Medicare was carried out within the US.
Utilizing this technique, the authors discover that:
…extra in depth medical insurance accounts for a big share of the rise in US well being spending but in addition boosts the speed of medical progress. A welfare evaluation exhibits that whereas the subsidization of well being care via medical insurance creates extreme well being care spending, the positive factors in life expectancy caused by induced medical progress greater than compensate for this.
Total, elevated ranges of medical insurance lower consumption as more cash is spent on well being care. On the similar time, capital–notably capital invested in R&D–will increase as medical insurance will increase returns on funding as extra sick sufferers are capable of afford therapy. The authors observe that:
One clarification for why the advantages from medical progress more and more outweigh the loss from ethical hazard lies with the continuing progress of revenue: So long as per capita consumption is growing over time, people are likely to assign an growing worth to life (Corridor and Jones, 2007, Chen et al., 2021). This argument extends to the evaluation of ethical hazard, the place people are keen to tolerate an growing distortion from well being insurance coverage in alternate for a rise in lifetime, so long as this solely slows down however doesn’t reverse consumption progress.
The authors additionally observe that medical costs improve over time because of the Baumol price illness; particularly the joint affect of productiveness progress within the last items sectors and medical progress itself result in increased costs.
You possibly can learn the total paper right here.