Costly Efficiencies: Health Care Spending, Covid-19, and the Public/Private Health Care Debate

Costly Efficiencies: Health Care Spending, Covid-19, and the Public/Private Health Care Debate
Mouré, Christopher. (2021). Working Papers on Capital as Power. No. 2021/05. December. pp. 1-23. (Article - Working Paper; English).


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Abstract or Brief Description

The debate around public versus private health care often turns on cost – that is, on how to reduce costs, and particularly government expenditures, when it comes to health care. This paper examines the theoretical and empirical relationship between health costs and health outcomes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It proposes an alternative political economic framework – capital-as-power – for understanding how the provision of health care affects the relationship between health care costs and health outcomes, arguing that private health care realizes profits through the strategic limitation of health services. It presents empirical evidence suggesting that in countries which rely more heavily on private health care, higher overall health care expenditures predict more severe COVID-19 outbreaks, contradicting the argument that private health care services are more cost-efficient or will lead to better health outcomes at a lower cost.



Publication Type

Article - Working Paper


capital as power cost/benefit COVID-19 health care private/public sabotage


BN International & Global
BN Power
BN Science & Technology
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Comparative
BN Crisis
BN Industrial Organization
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

25 Dec 2021 00:23

Last Modified

07 Jan 2022 00:36


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