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The Perennial Quest to Lower Healthcare Spending

The first major conference on health policy I ever attended, organized by The National Journal in Washington sometime in the late 1970s, focused on the rising cost of health care, which then absorbed close to 8 percent of gross domestic product and was threatening the unimaginable: to claim 10 percent or more of G.D.P.

Governors, senators, congressmen, business executives, the heads of trade associations and leaders of unions representing health care workers made presentations, and all of them agreed that the growth of health care spending had to be curbed – by what now is called “bending the cost curve.”

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