The New Yorker article Obama made famous

This is the article that galvanized President Obama (he circulated it widely) and has everyone in health care talking as Washington debates how to control health care costs, improve quality and expand access all at once. In the June 1 issue of The New Yorker, physician-writer Atul Gawande tells how he went to McAllen, Texas to find out why it’s the most expensive city in the country for health care. He writes: “The primary cause of McAllen’s extreme costs was, very simply, the across-the-board overuse of medicine.” Not quality, not demographics, not fraud or malpractice, although all are issues. The culprit is excessive use, and unless health reform reform changes that, it will fail.

Every health care trustee, physician and executive should read this piece both for its insights and because of its impact on healthcare reform.

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