The failed model at the heart of America's health care mess


As the debate over the future of U.S. health care takes shape, it's becoming increasingly clear that a central problem with the medical system lies in its fundamental model of treatment and revenue. With an ever-increasing emphasis upon the latest medications and the most expensive treatments, the current system seems to actively encourage spending, while de-emphasizing treatment.

Under America's current standard, which New York Times writer David Leonhardt characterizes as "fee-for-service," doctors and hospitals are paid for the amount of care that they provide. Consequently, expensive procedures are often prioritized over cheaper treatments, regardless of their effectiveness.