November 8, 2013

MEGAN MCARDLE: Is ObamaCare Pulling The Plug On Medical Innovation?

The only way to find out, of course, is to wait (though really, we’ll still end up arguing: If medical innovation falls, the law’s supporters can always say it would have fallen anyway; if it goes up or stays steady, the opposition can always argue that it would have risen further). But here’s one sign to watch: Venture-capital investment in medical technology seems to be falling fast. . . .

And at some level, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s caused by Obamacare; disinvestment in medical technology probably means a slowdown in innovation no matter what its cause. If that’s the natural result of slowing research productivity, or a population that would rather invest its money in other things, then that’s as it should be. But it’s still disappointing to contemplate fewer life-saving new technologies in the future.

I’ve long worried that ObamaCare would have just such an effect, though I authored a somewhat more optimistic take here.

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