Washington Post Interviews Atul Gawande

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein spoke with surgeon and writer Atul Gawande. Klein writes: "Gawande's New Yorker article comparing the medical systems of El Paso and McAllen, Tex., has been a definitional piece in the health reform conversation. President [Barack] Obama has repeatedly invoked it. Senators have talked about it. The media have embraced it. I spoke to Gawande this afternoon about the fallout from his article, the problem of revenue-driven medicine, and whether a public plan would make a difference."

For instance, Klein asks: "Do you think much that we're hearing in the political conversation is responsive to the issues you pointed out?"

Gawande: "The Washington debate -- there are smart reasons to think about including a public option in the mix, but we have not been thinking hard enough about how we control costs and make a better system. I think it's achievable in about 10 to 15 years, and maybe even faster. I can tell you three things that will transform McAllen overnight. But CBO doesn't score them" (Klein, 6/23).

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