Atul Gawande has article in this week's New Yorker on the reasons why health care costs in one town in Texas were the highest in the nation:
Apart from his larger point on the problem with the profit motive overtaking the imperative to provide the best care in the health care industry, I was very intrigued that all of the people he interviewed in Allen were surprised to learn that their costs were so high comparable to the rest of the country. I haven't looked into what data is available or how it is available but if its not easy now to download a full dump of health care data (costs vs. health statistics) by county, than it should be.
With current advances in creating mapping and data 'mashups', it would be a relatively simple task to create a website where users (politicians, activists, reporters, and with luck even doctors) could view the data for their region in relation to the rest of the country.
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