Daily Archives: June 18, 2009

Anyone at all interested in the US health debate will already have read Atul Gawande’s excellent New Yorker piece, which compares health spending in McAllen, Texas ($15,000 per Medicare enrollee in 2006) with spending in El Paso (only half as much, even though its relevant characteristics seem similar). His recent commencement address at the Pritzker School of Medicine is also very good. Both pieces serve to shift the focus away from the preoccupation with public v private insurance, because the enormous variations in health spending he discusses are within the public system. They also slightly dampen one’s hopes for comparative effectiveness research, all the rage just now, as a way to save money–unless it is used alongside changes in financial incentives. Changes in payment delivery are the key thing. How are doctors and hospitals reimbursed? That is what matters.

The Health Affairs blog has two posts for supplementary reading. One is about the Dartmouth research that provides the data for this kind of comparison (and which is facing criticism of late). The other is a roundtable on the Gawande article.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

Comment: To comment, please register with FT.com. Register for free here. Please also read the FT's comments policy here.
Time: UK time is shown on Clive's posts.
Follow the blog: Links to the Twitter and RSS feeds are at the top of the blog.
Schedule: Clive's column appears in the FT on Mondays and you can read an excerpt of it on this blog.
FT blogs: See the full range of the FT's blogs here.

Archive

« May Jul »June 2009
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930