Friday, September 29, 2006

Health Care Studies are Good, but It's Time to Act

The Journal Sentinel is offering another article today on the especially high cost of health care in the Milwaukee area. This one focuses on physician fees, whereas others have focused on hospital fees.

Here's a snippet from the story:


Bruce Kruger, executive vice president of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County, praised the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health for its initiative and its efforts to systematically evaluate health care costs in the Milwaukee area.

"The foundation has tried to use the most objective analysis as possible," Kruger said.

He and others said the next step is to understand what contributes to higher costs in the Milwaukee area and to find ways to improve quality and lower costs.

That will require hospitals, doctor, health plans and employers to work together.

"They all want to work on the problem and solve it," said Jim Wrocklage, executive director of the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health.


This story has the same ring to it as the others -- "Hey, this study says there's a problem here. We're going to do something about it."

Of course, these articles are all well and good, as are the studies that are reported in them, but the time for identifying whether a health care problem exists is long over.

Most of the country is at the point of crisis when it comes to health care. And while Wisconsin has weathered the storm better than most states because of our terrific social service programs (which are now in financial jeopardy due to our do-nothing Republican-led Congress), our state has not completely avoided the problems and it faces more serious issues if action isn't taken soon.

Right now there are three proposals (here, here, and here) for comprehensive statewide reform before the GOP-led state legislature. Two of the three have some bipartisan support, although none have the support of the Republican leadership, which is the real key to getting something done at this time.

So if health care and business leaders in Milwaukee really want to "solve" the health care issue they continuously study, they'll use what's already on the table to push the state GOP to do something about it.


Blogger Darren Mallory said...


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