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Healthcare spending disparities stir a fight

New York Times, June 9, 2009

As part of the larger effort to overhaul healthcare, lawmakers are trying to address the huge geographic variations in Medicare spending per beneficiary. Research suggests that the higher spending does not produce better results for patients but may be evidence of inefficiency. Members of Congress are seriously considering proposals to rein in the growth of health spending by taking tens of billions of dollars of Medicare money away from doctors and hospitals in high-cost areas and using it to help cover the uninsured or treat patients in lower-cost regions.