As I work with pharma companies, I'm often asked "When will we get major reform of the healthcare system?" and "What will the reformed system look like?" And sometimes "How will we get there?" This is not the same as asking "How should we reform the system?" Or "What should a reformed system look like?"
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word crisis used to describe the healthcare system of one country or another, I would be rich. And with the '08 elections revving up, we can expect to hear a crisis chorus from many presidential and congressional candidates wise to the fact that healthcare often ranks as voters' No. 1 issue.
Inappropriate care may account for 25 to 30 percent of the US healthcare bill. Former NEJM editor Arnold Relman used to write that if we could eliminate the unnecessary care, we could save enough to insure all the uninsured.
Myth vs. Reality: The American healthcare system needs a makeover. That requires policies based on accurate information about how our country’s system compares to others’. To start, we must separate fact from fiction.