Ginsburg Testifies Before U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Health Care Costs

No Silver Bullet to Make Health Care Cost Containment Painless

News Release
June 3, 2008

Alwyn Cassil (202) 264-3484 or

WASHINGTON, DC—How the United States finances health care and our pervasive unwillingness to confront the difficult trade-offs inherent in containing costs, improving quality and expanding coverage contribute to the seemingly intractable problem of stemming rising health care costs, economist Paul Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee today.

"Reflecting on the U.S. experience with health care cost containment, what is striking is the consistency with which leaders in both the public and private sectors have avoided the idea that real cost containment involves real sacrifice-patients going without services that may provide some benefit, or physicians, hospitals and insurers settling for smaller incomes or profits," Ginsburg testified at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on "Rising Costs, Low Quality in Health Care: The Necessity for Reform."

In his testimony, Ginsburg made three main points:

Ginsburg’s testimony is available online at

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The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nation’s changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is funded principally by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.