The Cost Culture of Health Care Delivery

Filed in National by on May 31, 2009

This is a Must Read article by Atul Gawande at the New Yorker is worth spending some time with today. It is really difficult to excerpt anything here, but it is just that good. He gets at many of the real policy and practice questions that need to be thought about as we talk about implementing universal health care. And this is nicely done — comparing the average Medicare costs of two Texas cities, including one that is surprisingly included as one of the highest cost Medicare expenditures per capita.

This article is an excellent starting point for thinking about how to contain health care costs, while boosting health outcomes. What Congress is currently working on is getting more people covered, and cleaning up some of the insurance mess — but the business of cost containment is going to be a longer term and probably much tougher project.

Really, just read the whole thing.


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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

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  1. pandora says:

    I read this the other day. Thank you for posting on it. I really meant to, but life interfered.

    And Cassandra is correct – Read the whole thing.

  2. June says:

    Mike Castle is having a Listening Session on healthcare reform tomorrow morning (Monday) from 10-11:30 at Christiana Care’s PMRI (Preventive Medicine and Rehab. Inst.) –the old Pelleport — on Pa. Ave., before you enter into Greenville.

    After hearing Howard Dean on Friday, I’m all fired up over the public health insurance option that has to be included in the reform package. If it isn’t, the bill is a farce. Obviously, the health insurance companies don’t want it.

    It’s important to attend the Listening Session if you can.

  3. cassandra_m says:

    Thanks, June — it is especially important to go speak to Castle if you want reform of the system. His votes recently haven’t been all that representative of most of the folks he is representing.

  4. anon says:

    We have a single payer bill before the legislature as we speak. SB 120 the Delaware Health Security Act. If you believe that for profit insurance companies and their continuation are going to keep our jobs here, or cut costs you are ill informed and naive.

    For profit insurance companies are despised by our doctors and nurses and health care professionals who routinely overrule the doctor in charge. 85% of all doctors in the US want single payer, 70% of all american citizens polled want it. The Congress and Senate are filled with legislators who are dependent on 40000 K Street lobbyists filling their campaign coffers to the brim.

    If we want to keep GM here or bring another car factory to replace Chrysler…better get on board. If you havent called your legislator…do so. Tell them to sign on to SB 120 and lets have the numbers on what health care costs would be under a single payer system and the exhoribant costs the for profits are charging every day. Delaware is wasting $8million a day on unnecessary for profit insurance company charges. The Seniors have no dental, vision, long term health care, and paying ever higher co pays and prescriptions costs. Young families are paying higher and higher deductibles and this cycle will continue unless there is a viable single payer system. Delaware would be a magnet for new industry who want to be patriotic by keeping jobs in th US, instead of outsourcing to countries that have single payer or no health care systems at all.