Marcia Angell, M.D. is the author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. Former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and pathology, she has been a frequent critic of the U.S. healthcare system and the pharmaceutical industry. Her lecture will examine the American health system, which she believes is rapidly self-destructing. Costs per capita are more than double what they are in other advanced nations and rising at an unsustainable rate. Yet our health outcomes are worse than in most of these nations, and we provide fewer of many basic services. Moreover, a growing number of Americans have inadequate health insurance or none at all. Both major presidential candidates promise to reform our health system incrementally. But they face the following dilemma: If they try to control costs, coverage will inevitably shrink. On the other hand, if they try to expand coverage, costs will rise. The candidates have embraced opposite horns of this dilemma. Senator McCain has opted for holding down costs by passing more of the burden to individuals, even though it means more people will be without health care. Senator Obama has opted for increasing coverage, even though it means adding to the staggering costs. Neither is a long-term solution. The only way to have universal health care at a sustainable cost is to overhaul the system entirely. Dr. Angell will explain why that is so, and what needs to be done.
Sep 17, 2008
Free and open to the public