Michigan State University

Gauging the real risks and benefits of a medical procedure

Gauging the real risks and benefits of a medical procedure

As Republicans assail the Affordable Care Act but find nothing to replace it, as Democrats seek Medicare for all, both are failing to address the most salient problem crippling our health care system: wasteful spending.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that we squandered $750 billion in unnecessary medical spending in 2009, and recent estimates put that number closer to $1 trillion a year. In fact, 30 to 50 percent of medical interventions are of low value: They either do not help people, or they harm...

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