Gawande On "Rationing": Provokes Fear, But Won't Happen In U.S. Health Care

Atul Gawande, the New Yorker staff writer and cancer surgeon, spoke with NPR's Morning Edition about the how the word "rationing" has been used – and misused – in the health care debate. Host Ari Shapiro described the scenario of when a patient may need a CT scan, but not receive one because he or she had already used up his or her allotted care, or the provider had already given out a maximum amount of scans for the month. "It's never been the way American care works," Gawande said. "It's not going to be the way American care works. Nonetheless, it is such a frightening prospect - that you would have something taken away that you might need - it can be a death blow for efforts to reform care" (Shapiro, 9/3).

Gawande also appeared on the News Hour With Jim Lehrer, where he spoke about the concept of "rational care" in medicine.

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.