How to Get to Value in Health Care

In pre-coronavirus America, the Democratic primaries were dominated by a contentious debate over how best to achieve universal coverage. The pandemic—with its profound social and economic consequences—has offered us a poignant yet urgent opportunity to move the national debate beyond the narrow focus on universal coverage, to the larger question of how to address the fundamental conditions of injustice which underlie disease by focusing on value and reducing the total cost of care. The urgency of this challenge is reflected in the disproportionate impact the coronavirus is having on low-income Americans, and particularly on communities of color—very little of which has to do with access to the health care system.

Authored by John Kitzhaber, MD, Former Governor of Oregon.

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