Must-See Video: If Dr. Seuss Took On Hospital Overspending

Hat tip to the Globe's Chelsea Conaboy — who in turn hat-tipped the Washington Post's Sarah Kliff of Wonkblog — clearly this thing is going deservedly viral...

The talented Marketplace health care reporter Gregory Warner posted this yesterday, a decidedly Seussical animated short about hospital competition in "the fictional city of Hobbs." He writes:

Its mayor has a big problem: How will he implement his scheme to bring in good clean health care jobs when every other American city is trying to do the same? How far will he go to nab those fabled ‘medical tourists’? And what will the ensuing medical arms race mean for insurance premiums and taxes?


Later this week on Marketplace, I tell the real-life version of this story from Detroit, a city asking this question: Can local politics influence hospitals to overexpand, driving up insurance premiums and taxes and even creating a health care jobs bubble?

Gee, do you think maybe the answer might be yes? And that there might be some Boston parallels?

My favorite bit of the video: As the hospital competition mounts, the mayor concludes that his hospital should buy "The All-Organ-Blast-n-Make-Younger Machine," exorbitant and still under testing, but sure to attract more patients.

This program aired on September 14, 2011. 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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