NEJM Audio Perspectives

The Cost of Healthcare

December 7, 200918 min
President Barack Obama has argued that healthcare reform is essential to the future economic health of the United States. But the economics of both healthcare and reform are daunting. Is it possible to pay for healthcare coverage for all Americans without moderating our rapidly rising healthcare costs? And what do we know about the best ways of achieving cost savings? In a roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Atul Gawande, three experts in health economics — Drs. Elliott Fisher, Jonathan Gruber, and Meredith Rosenthal — explore the most promising ways of slowing the growth of healthcare costs, their potential effects on medical practice, and the likelihood that the current healthcare reform effort will be a step in the right direction.

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