Medicine: A Call for Radical Surgery

A major doctors' group joins the drive to overhaul health care

If the U.S. health-care system were laid out on the operating table, its condition would be rated critical and worsening. Though the country has physicians with unsurpassed training, its health-care delivery is among the most expensive, least efficient and least equitable in the developed world. Of the industrialized nations, the U.S. ranks 17th in life expectancy and an appalling 20th in preventing infant mortality. Yet the prospect of a national health-insurance system, long advocated as a solution, alarms many doctors. They see it as an intrusion by Big Government into their professional lives -- and, perhaps more important, as a threat...

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