Clive Crook writes in a Bloomberg View column: "It's well understood that Medicare spending needs to be contained lest its growth, under the pressures of demography and new medical technologies, crowd out other public spending or push taxes way up."
The assumption here is that new medical technologies must yield increased costs. Yet in many other fields, and sometimes even in medicine, new technologies are more likely to be adopted if they reduce costs. Think of the examples of voicemail replacing human secretaries, or ATMs replacing human bank tellers, or outpatient cardiac catheterizations and stents replacing many instances of open-heart surgery. Sure, there may be some technologies that yield such dramatic improvements in health-care outcomes that they are worth paying more for. But it's not by any means as certain as Mr. Crook suggests it is that new medical technologies will lead to increased costs.