Thursday, July 19, 2007

gawande in rare form

"Comment," the top slot in The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town," is almost always a good read and Atul Gawande proves himself master of the short and pithy, in "Sick and Twisted." I'd only read his longer things before, but his comment is a call for health care reform, and a warning about the difficulties of this in the US. He organizes the essay around Michael Moore's film, and the possibilities of outrage.

But I think my favorite line was not exactly about health care at all.

"We have never corrected failure in something so deeply embedded in people’s lives and in the economy without the pressure of an outright crisis. The welfare reforms of 1996 made changes that profoundly affected people’s lives, but only those of the poor, which was why voters supported the experiment."

Note, Gawande only gets top billing in the print edition of TNY. The online version of this week's "Talk of the Town" leads with the waitress in the bikini.

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