Thursday, October 29, 2009

Report Backs White House Claim Of $700 Billion In Wasteful Health Spending

The notion that Americans spend $700 billion a year on health care that doesn't leave them healthier is Exhibit A in the Obama team's case that health costs can be cut without rationing.

White House budget director Peter Orszag often plays first fiddle in the efficiency ditty, writing in his blog last spring that such spending "subjects you and me to tests and procedures that aren't necessary and are potentially harmful -- not to mention wasteful."

Now an independent report by a unit of Thomson Reuters appears to back that up. A white paper, released this week, estimates that the nation wastes between $600 billion and $850 billion a year. It fingers specific categories of waste, such as administrative inefficiencies ($100 billion to $150 billion), unneeded medical services ($250 billion to $325 billion), fraud and abuse ($125 billion to $175 billion), and others. The paper had no outside sponsors......................

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