Time’s “Bitter Pill” Explains: “Who Should Pay for Health Care?” How About “Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?


Steven Brill talks to TIME about his cover story “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” on the outrageous pricing and egregious profits that are destroying our health care.

Why Does Healthcare Cost so Much?

Sample Answers:

$77 for a box of gauze pads that someone could get at the drug store for $1.

1 “ACETAMINOPHE TABS 325 MG.” for one generic Tylenol pill, but someone could order 100 tablets on Amazon for $1.49.

$283.00 for a “CHEST, PA AND LAT 71020.” — a simple chest X-ray, which is only $20.44 for a patient on Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly.

$13,702 for “1 RITUXIMAB INJ 660 — an injection of cancer wonder drug Rituxan marked up over three times the $4,000 (possibly $3,500 at volume discount) that the hospital pays for the drug.

The Charge Master list at a hospital is a list of the thousands of items that they charge for at exorbitant prices. The explanation of the exorbitant prices from on hospital … “The issues related to health care finance are complex for patients, health care providers, payers and government entities alike … MD Anderson’s clinical billing and collection practices are similar to those of other major hospitals and academic medical centers.”

In our largest cities, the healthcare system offers lavish paychecks even to midlevel hospital managers, like the 14 administrators at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center who are paid over $500,000 a year, including six who make over $1 million.

Obamacare does very little to control prices healthcare expense, like prescription drugs, medical procedures, or CT scans.

See more …

Time Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us by Steven Brill.


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