From remarks Tuesday by Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley at Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys, Calif.:
The health care specialists I've consulted estimate that the proposals I've talked about today will cost 35 to 45 billion dollars for children and adults, 10 billion for drug benefits for the elderly, 6.5 billion for tax exclusions, 2 billion for public health initiatives. . . .
With the imaginative use of new technologies, we are already finding new cost savings within the system. We have to step out of the old box that says either we raise taxes or cut benefits in order to control costs. In 1996, hospitals and doctors spent 30 to 50 billion dollars trying to get paid, and insurance companies spent 30 to 50 billion dollars trying not to pay. Understand that of the roughly $1.2 trillion spent on health care in 1998, $250 billion are related to the delivery of unnecessary care, redundant tests and excessive administrative costs. Imagine a world where the Internet replaces all filing cabinets and paper forms. Imagine a world where the cost of retrieving information is near zero. Imagine a world where doctors have good data on practice variation and can make decisions that are both economically prudent and clinically valuable. . . . Common sense and technology can make it happen.