Friday, September 25, 2009

Gawande and NEJM cost of care roundtable

I really hope my man Obama (apologies for the familiarity, but I'll never again see a President I like so much) gets his health care bill.

At best, however, it will only be the start of the journey. We haven't even begun to talk seriously about health care costs, and about getting the best possible care that we can afford to provide every American.

We'd be better off if the GOP weren't a smoldering wreck of a party; even the best government is no substitute for well managed markets. (Obviously the problem with unmanaged health care markets is the ice floe.)

Heck, even 16 years ago we had far more intelligent discussions about health care costs and systems than we're having now. Maybe we're getting senile, or maybe we're seeing the side-effects of relative media impoverishment.

Still, even among the senile, there are often moments of relatively clarity. The inimitable Gawande, mutant time traveler extraordinaire, is at it again in a NEJM roundtable discussion.

Briefly, Gawande and his fellow gurus are with me. We need to deal with costs, but Americans are completely unable to even begin an intelligent discussion -- and the Gaia-infected GOP is too devoted to ending human civilization to make any kind of contribution.

So we do coverage now, and hope we come up with a way to slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. That would both lower health care costs and contribute to a more intelligent discussion in 2014.

1 comment:

Bestcelebrity said...

Any efforts to reform healthcare on the macro level will always prove to be futile while making no one happy.

Mr. Obama, while certainly well intentioned, can only fail. It is simply impossible to measure any success in whatever "reforms" he may enact.

A more sensible approach is for patients and physicians to be much more judicious in their healthcare choices. But this is difficult to quantify and as such, impossible to legislate.

Perhaps simple legislation requiring clearer communication of up frontfees and costs as well as options would help consumers find more competitive health care solutions.