September 6, 2012
A new report says the U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year -- roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar.
That's through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud, fragmentation and other wasteful practices.
The report was released Thursday by the influential Institute of Medicine. It ties directly into the presidential election: President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are accusing each other of slashing Medicare and putting seniors at risk.
But the counter-intuitive finding from the report is that deep cuts are possible without rationing, and a leaner system may even produce better quality.
The 18-member panel of experts includes doctors, business people and public officials. They spent more than year working on the study.
They're hoping lawmakers, employers, hospital CEOs, doctors and individual patients will take note.