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Tylenol at $1,089.50 a Pill…

July 12, 2008

Common Sense Health Care

Dr. Angell, a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, was called “an unlikely muckraker” by The New York Times in 2004, when she published a powerful expose of the drug companies.

Her position on health reform appeals not to corporate interests but to common sense and the desire for good medical care, making it appear radical:

“The only workable solution is a single-payer system (there, I said it), in which everyone is provided with whatever care he or she needs regardless of age and medical condition,” she writes. “There would no longer be a private insurance industry, which adds little of value yet skims a substantial fraction of the health-care dollar right off the top.

“Employers, too, would no longer be involved in health care,” she continues. “Care would be provided in nonprofit facilities. The most progressive way to fund such a system would be through an earmarked income tax, which would be more than offset by eliminating premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.”

Until then, will state and federal lawmakers be willing to rein in a system that dishes out Tylenol at $1,089.50 a pop?

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