'Incestuous Relationships' Hindering Health Care Cost Control?

Quite a lively spate of comments today in response to this Hubbub column about whether Paul Guzzi can combine his two leadership roles without running up against a conflict of interest.
Guzzi is both president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and board chairman at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer. Says one commenter:

Hospitals and health insurance companies are big employers in Massachusetts and it’s not a surprise that they are involved in the major business trade organizations in the state, nor that business leaders comprise a significant share of the board members of hospitals and health plans. But these incestuous relationships create some enormous conflicts of interest in the cost control arena. We need more public exploration and discussion about how all these overlaps limit the ability of Massachusetts employers to be a force to contain health care costs—in hospitals, health insurance companies, and on Beacon Hill.

That commenter also focuses on the leadership of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and the foundation's president, Michael J. Widmer, responds. Check out the full exchange here.

This program aired on September 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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