Raising Women’s Voices

A new perspective on the cost problem

Posted in Affordability, DC Reform, Health Disparities by raisingwomensvoices on June 9, 2009

Dr. Atul Gawande wrote a piece for the New Yorker last week that outlined the geographic health care provision disparities in a few towns in rural Texas. These disparities are a concern for health care consumers as well as policy makers in the debate around health care reform, and President Obama has taken the Gawande piece to heart. There is discussion in both the White House and Congress on how to even out the costs and make sure everyone is getting effective health care without spending money that doesn’t need to be spent. This issue is unendingly complex – the reasons behind why Medicare spends more money in some areas then others is not completely clear, so it is difficult to have conversations around how to solve the problem. This of course goes hand-in-hand with the discussion about how to pay for health care reform.

“Mr. Orszag says health spending could be reduced by as much as 30 percent, or $700 billion a year, without compromising the quality of care, if more doctors and hospitals practiced like those in low-cost areas. The supply of hospitals, medical specialists and high-tech equipment “appears to generate its own demand,” Mr. Orszag has said.”

Read the full article by Robert Pear, published yesterday in the New York Times. Also, the Wall Street Journal did an article outlining the main problems facing President Obama, the Senate, and the House: the formation and inclusion of a public option, and how to pay for this whole thing.

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