President Obama and top advisers will travel to Green Bay Thursday – "one of the highest-value health communities in the nation" – to promote health reform in a town-hall meeting, the Washington Post
reports. "In his drive to rein in skyrocketing health-care costs, Obama is increasingly focused on wasteful medical care," the Post reports. The administration's budget director, Peter Orszag, told the Post, "If we could make the rest of the nation practice medicine the way that Green Bay does, we would have higher quality and significantly lower costs."
Obama's new focus is driven in part by researchers at the Dartmouth (Health) Atlas Project who study variations in cost and quality across communities around the country. "[T]he differences that are really important are due to the differences in utilization rates," one researcher told the Post. Communities that use more medicine tend to cost more, and some evidence indicates that excessive care can actually be harmful, experts said (Connolly, 6/11).