Praise for my old friend Peter

Paul Krugman today writes that my old London School of Economics buddy Peter Orszag has the medical-industrial complex on the run:

Six major industry players… have sent a letter to President Obama sketching out a plan to control health care costs. What’s more, the letter implicitly endorses much of what administration officials have been saying about health economics….

[T]he industry has clearly been reading Peter Orszag, the budget director.

In his previous job, as the director of the Congressional Budget Office, Mr. Orszag argued that America spends far too much on some types of health care with little or no medical benefit, even as it spends too little on other types of care, like prevention and treatment of chronic conditions. Putting these together, he concluded that “substantial opportunities exist to reduce costs without harming health over all.”

Sure enough, the health industry letter talks of “reducing over-use and under-use of health care by aligning quality and efficiency incentives.” It also picks up a related favorite Orszag theme, calling for “adherence to evidence-based best practices and therapies.” All in all, it’s just what the doctor, er, budget director ordered.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve completely lost touch with Peter, but I sure am proud my former friend is shaking up Washington and bringing major, positive change to America.

Posted by James on Monday, May 11, 2009