Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone is a fellow at the Open Society Institute and holds an investigator award in health policy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Recent Articles

A Darker Ribbon

I've always wondered where the money goes when I pay extra to the U.S. Post Office for a sheet of breast cancer stamps, when I buy daffodils from the American Cancer Society, or when I pledge a donation to someone running a race for the cure. Or, for that matter, when I give money to a Boston breast cancer center, which I do ever since I was terrorized by a lump that mercifully turned out benign. For a long time, I've had a sneaking suspicion that the money goes to support business as usual for whatever institution collects it, and that there's little-to-zero connection between charitable giving and anybody's cancer. I've thought about trying to designate my donations for care of women who don't have insurance or for the grossly under-appreciated nurses at the hospital where I had my surgery. I've done none of these things, nor have I ever turned my investigative talents to tracking the stamp and daffodil money. My ignorance and passivity are a small part of the larger phenomenon...

Rationing Compassion

" I had begun to feel that we were part of some psychology experiment whose design was to see how quickly we could abandon our humanity ." --Dr. Linda Peeno, an ex-medical director and claims reviewer for HMOs, confessing why she quit, in U.S. News and World Report , March 9, 1998. B ack in the twentieth century, the United States of America enjoyed the most extraordinary economic growth, the most incredible scientific advances, and the most successful global empire. Nothing could threaten the mighty nation--nothing, that is, except an enemy within. The nation's health care system grew and grew, until finally the nation's leaders realized that it meant to devour the entire national economy. After decades of failed reforms proposed by economists, policy analysts, and other social-science wizards, the leaders turned at last to the Grand Psychologist. He alone, they thought, might understand the psyche of the health care monster and know how to tame it. The problem, he explained to the...