I used to think the biggest obstacle to getting agreement about health care reform was ideology (socialism vs. capitalism). Then I decided it was sociology (engineers vs. economists). I now am inclined to believe it is psychology (bureaucrats vs. entrepreneurs).
I came to this realization after reading through a long list of comments to a Health Alert I posted the other day about a health care entrepreneur (more on that below).
The entrepreneurial approach is the way we are trying to solve big problems in many other fields. Take the Ansari X Prize, established by citizen-astronaut Anousheh Ansari and her husband, Amir. They awarded $10 million to the first group to build a privately-funded spacecraft capable of carrying three people 100 kilometers above the earth’s surface twice within two weeks. Interestingly, 26 teams from seven nations spent more than $100 million competing to win the prize.
A slew of other prizes soon followed:
Currently, all kinds of other prizes are on the drawing board — in education, economic development, energy and environment, exploration, life sciences, etc. In fact, if you have some money and want to get involved, it looks like a fertile field.
To my knowledge, there is no award for any discovery in paying for or delivering health care, however. But why not?