Slow Down, Obama: Baby Steps to Fix Health Care

'Low-hanging fruit' can save us cash with little political fallout
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 10, 2009 7:35 AM CDT
'These mini-reforms are almost sure to work. So why not try them first?' writes Kinsley.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – President Obama has managed to achieve an impressive amount in his first few months in office—but “even liberals” are starting to get worried about cost, writes Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post. Health care reform, while needed, is vastly expensive. Maybe now’s the time to slow things down, and seek a few “smaller successes” rather than overhaul health care entirely?

Kinsley identifies some “low-hanging,” money-saving measures:

  • Malpractice reform: Right now, “for every dollar going to victims of malpractice,” some “40 cents goes to plaintiffs who have no case at all.”
  • Cutting paperwork: Let’s get rid of those “endless, duplicative forms.”
  • Use “outcomes research”: We’re wasting 30% of health-care cash because we don't use medical records “to figure out which treatments work and which don't.”
  • Cut down on overused ambulances and emergency rooms.
(Read more President Obama stories.)