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Bill Moyers: Money-Driven Medicine – The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much

By Bill Moyers and Maggie Mahar, Bill Moyers Journal. Posted September 1, 2009.

Bill Moyers teams up with financial journalist Maggie Mahar and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney to bring you the truth about America’s health-care system.

Editor’s Note: Maggie Mahar’s book, Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (HarperCollins, 2009), forms the basis for a new documentary by Alex Gibney, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.) The film, Money-Driven Medicine aired on Bill Moyers Journal on Friday.

Warning: it will make you really, really mad.

Mahar, who covered finance for Barron’s, began her research by randomly calling doctors to get their side of the health-care story. To her surprise, nearly all of them (most of whom did not know her) called her back — so eager were they to ring the alarm on a system they see as having strayed far from its mission.

The filmmakers are making this presentation available to community groups, high schools and public libraries for a reduced price, and are providing resources for using the film to jump-start discussions and debates about health care reform. For more about the film, go to the Money-Driven Medicine Web site.

Below you’ll find Bill Moyers’ introduction to the segment he aired on his show and a clip from Money-Driven Medicine’s site, along with the transcript from the video:

***

Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Journal.

The world of medicine has changed radically since I was a kid in East Texas. Back then, Dr. Sam Tenney made house calls for a couple of bucks a visit. Dr. Granbury raced to a patient’s side with such speed you could hear his tires screeching around the courthouse square blocks away. And if you needed a prescription, Dr. Wyatt would offer to drop it off at your door on his way to the hospital — a non-profit community hospital, by the way, run by civic-minded citizens who counted every penny.

If any of them were around today, they would surely marvel at our high-tech medicine. But as prudent folks, they would also marvel – in a horrified way, I think — at the cost of it all. How did we get here?

Maggie Mahar wanted to find out. She’s one of our best financial journalists — now, after years of research, she has written:

Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much.

During their summer recess, if every member of the House and Senate would read it before returning to Washington, the outcome of the health care debate might be very different.

In this broadcast we will share with you a film based on Maggie Mahar’s work. The book and the film couldn’t be more timely as our country wrestles with what to do about money-driven medicine.

VIDEO & MORE HERE

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