Matt Miller - The Archives

Mitt on the menu
The Washington Post, November 28, 2012

I don't know whether Emily Post has any tips for breaking the ice over lunch with your just-vanquished foe. But I have just the thing if President Obama was serious about asking Mitt Romney to "work together to move this country forward."

Romney was once a world-class management consultant with a legendary appetite for "the data." His private-equity success was due partly to his knack for identifying and purging inefficiencies from bloated, underperforming enterprises. It's time, therefore, to set him loose (analytically speaking) on the mother of all domestic challenges: America's radically inefficient health-care system.

Outsize U.S. health costs have killed wage growth, wrecked public budgets and diverted trillions in resources from other purposes. They also warp every aspect of public debate—for example, in today's "fiscal cliff" standoff, the fact that both parties are scared to shave Medicare's growth ignores the fact that, compared with every other rich country on Earth, we already spend vastly more on each senior than is needed for high-quality care.

As can never be said often enough, we spend 17