Why Is Health Care So Unhealthy?

April 4, 2009

evan-wishnia-gutsIn a fantastic New Yorker article about health care reform, Atul Gawande goes into how universal health coverage developed in other countries — and how it may develop in ours. “In 2007, fifty-seven million Americans had difficulty paying their medical bills,” Gawande wrote, “up fourteen million from 2003.” It’s clear we have come to a crisis that will not go away. Part of the problem is we’ve never been so good at keeping people alive. Previously untreatable problems can now be managed, but generally at a huge cost. Some good friends of Evan Wishnia, a 25-year-old in Florida, held a fundraising concert and raffle, Save Evans Guts, to help pay for his many medical bills. We designed some t-shirts to be sold at events to help out, and they managed to raise $1,200 at the concert. That’s a lot of money, but considering Evan’s situation (he had an emergency colon transplant) and others like him, it is a mere drop in the bucket in the tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills he will have to pay over his lifetime.


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