Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, February 22nd, 2013.

Stuff to Read

firearms, Health Care

It’s a long article, and I haven’t finished it yet, but do read “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” by Stephen Brill in Time. In short, the reason medical stuff costs so much is that a large part of the Health Care Industry is getting away with outrageously high profit margins and is bleeding the economy dry.

Recchi’s bill and six others examined line by line for this article offer a closeup window into what happens when powerless buyers — whether they are people like Recchi or big health-insurance companies — meet sellers in what is the ultimate seller’s market.

The result is a uniquely American gold rush for those who provide everything from wonder drugs to canes to high-tech implants to CT scans to hospital bill-coding and collection services. In hundreds of small and midsize cities across the country — from Stamford, Conn., to Marlton, N.J., to Oklahoma City — the American health care market has transformed tax-exempt “nonprofit” hospitals into the towns’ most profitable businesses and largest employers, often presided over by the regions’ most richly compensated executives. And in our largest cities, the 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.

Of course, the answer to this problem is to let the Holy Free Market (blessed be It) reign unfettered. (/snark)

Elsewhere — lawmakers in several states want to make gun owners buy liability insurance. And “Governors Fall Away in G.O.P. Opposition to More Medicaid.”

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