Health delivery lessons from the developing world?

Bruce Walker, director of the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, comments in today’s Wall Street Journal story on using “simpler and less expensive treatments like those used abroad” to reduce heatlh costs here.   

 Walker “worries that imported practices — and possibly lower standards — would be adopted only for disadvantaged patients in the U.S. But Dr. Walker believes it will be too costly for the U.S. to continue to rely on current practices. “You have to find a way of changing the approach slightly while still providing outstanding care,” he says.”

 Also, Susan Milligan – who knows her way around Capitol Hill — reports on Obama’s health care forum for the Globe.  

 AP reports on his rejection of single payer.

 Obama said a government-run “single-payer” health care system works well in some countries. But it is not appropriate in the United States, he said, because so many people get insurance through their employers working with private companies.

 Kaiser Health News has the transcript

 Here’s the problem, is that the way our health care system evolved in the United States, it evolved based on employers providing health insurance to their employees through private insurers.  And so that’s still the way that the vast majority of you get your insurance.  And for us to transition completely from an employer-based system of private insurance to a single-payer system could be hugely disruptive.  And my attitude has been that we should be able to find a way to create a uniquely American solution to this problem that controls costs but preserves the innovation that is introduced in part with a free market system. 

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