Making health care affordable

July 16, 2012 | Lynn Nicholas

Reducing payments to hospitals doesn’t reduce health care costs, it just shifts them to someone else

The state must not try to exert too much control over providers, writes Lynn Nicholas, the president and CEO of the Massachusetts Hospital Association.


State health care bill should focus on areas of broad agreement

Arriving at a carefully crafted, coherent law will require genuine give and take.

June 22, 2012 | Daniel Vasella

The lesson from abroad: spending more doesn’t always lead to better care

A recent comparison of world health shows that countries that spend less often have higher quality care, writes Daniel Vasella, chairman of Novartis.

June 19, 2012 | Ropper, Amato, and Samuels

// Put away the red tape

As it seeks to trim health costs, the government must avoid burdening doctors with even more paperwork requirements, write physicians Allan H. Ropper, Anthony A. Amato, and Martin A. Samuels.

June 14, 2012 | Dr. Angelo Volandes

More help navigating end-of-life options can improve care for dying patients — and reduce costs

Dying patients often receive aggressive, expensive treatment that many would reject if they had a fuller understanding of their options, writes Dr. Angelo Volandes.

June 1, 2012 | David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler

Single-payer health care would save billions for Massachusetts

A public health insurance system like Canada’s would dramatically slice health bills in Massachusetts by cutting out the insurance-company middleman, write doctors David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler.

July 18, 2012 | Eric Beyer

State needs to take stock before expanding health payment methods employers are rejecting

The shift of many employers from HMOs to PPOs continues the unfair practice of paying hospitals wildly different prices, writes Eric Beyer of Tufts Medical Center.

Robert brown

Massachusetts’ health care cost containment option could affect life sciences economy

Lawmakers should be aware of possible unintended consequences as they consider health care legislation and its effect on our state’s ability to compete in the international life sciences economy.

June 22, 2012 | Alan Sager and Deborah Socolar

Beacon Hill’s health plans are doomed to failure

Massachusetts should look overseas for successful strategies to make health spending sustainable, write Alan Sager and Deborah Socolar.

June 21, 2012 | Philip W. Johnston

// 20 years later, Weld’s deregulation of hospital rates looms large as the root of today’s cost crisis

The state’s decision to stop regulating hospital prices in 1992 was a mistake that unleashed the cost increases of today, writes Philip W. Johnston, a health care consultant and former state official.

June 20, 2012 | Donald M. Berwick

// In Elinor Ostrom’s legacy, a lesson for Beacon Hill

The work of the Nobel Prize-winning economist, who died last week, should inspire the state as it looks for ways to rein in health care costs, writes former Medicare chief Donald M. Berwick.

June 15, 2012 | Shannon Brownlee

Mass. has too many hospitals for its own good

Unless the state finds a way to limit growth in the number of hospitals and specialists, efforts to control health care spending are likely to fail, says Shannon Brownlee of the New America Foundation.

June 1, 2012 | Jon B. Hurst

State lawmakers must put our bloated health care system on a diet

To bring down the price of health insurance, lawmakers should relax some of the mandated coverage items that add to premiums, writes Jon B. Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

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Health law primer

// The Mass. health care law

The law’s history and effect on Massachusetts and beyond.