Policy driven options appraisal

Coverage of the nominally cross-party discussions on health care yesterday was drowned in discussion of the decision by the Tories to absent themselves. This was coupled with demands to remove one of the funding options, the so-called “death tax”, from the appraisal. I was trained, both as an engineer and consultant, to make recommendations based on evidence, not peurile headline harvesting opportunities.

Option appraisals are supposed to inform decision making, demonstrate a balance of investment outcome and articulate benefits, disbenefits, risk and opportunity.

The “death tax” may not be a viable option. Even a cursory glance shows fairly significant disbenefits and risks, it depends what it’s being compared with but arbitrarily removing it from the comparison undermines the effort going in to the process.

This is certainly no argument for policy by consensus, but the posturing has little real value for those on the receiving end of care.

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