News Columns & Blogs

Saying 'no' to 'try-anything' care

Noting that "managed care became loathsome in the 1990s" and "Americans tend to believe that more care is better care," New York Times economics columnist David Leonhardt doubts the capacity of the health care reform law, and its new oversight agencies, to do enough to reduce health care costs. He prescribes three steps to counter today's "try-anything" care: "Learning more about when treatments work and when they don't." Giving "patients the available facts about treatments." And "changing the economics of medicine, to reward better care rather than simply more care." Though the reform is a start, he wrote: "None of these steps will allow us to avoid the wrenching debates that are an inevitable part of health policy. Eventually, we may well have to decide against paying for expensive treatments with only modest benefits."