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Brill's pill, distilled

Original post made on Mar 21, 2013

This week, [Web Link Raucous Caucus] boils down Steven Brill's monumental Time magazine report on run-away health care costs. More important than who should pay the bills is the question: Why are they so astronomically high?

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 2:56 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Mar 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I haven't been able to finish it yet, but this article will certainly make your head spin like Linda Blair.
By all means, let us keep protecting the poor misunderstood HMO CEO's and sleezy equipment providers. That, or lynch the lot of 'em.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:14 am

Derek: the Linda Blair reference -- now, That's a great lede!

The article has not generated great outrage, yet -- which is a testament to the hidden nature of the market that also makes it so easy to exploit. Most folks with health coverage are never directly impacted by the gouging. But imagine if Chevron tried to mark-up its gasoline from $300 cost to $13,200 at retail?!

I think there's an interesting follow-up phenomenon -- after an article this negative, you'd expect the various industry groups that were skewered -- esp. the hospitals -- to leap to their own defense. However, as noted in PR News:

"Among all of the various medical associations and healthcare providers that have a vested interest in "Bitter Pill," PR News could find nada one that chose to dignify the story via their website, no less try and tell its side of the story."

"Brill's piece drew no response from the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or the National Association of Health Underwriters."

"Perhaps the medical field at large is betting that the article will blow over and simply play itself out after circulating through a few news cycles."

... and they might be right, remarkably.


Posted by JRM, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Check out the website www.castlight.com. A valiant effort to bring transparency to the shocking variances in health care costs for routine medical procedures done in hospitals.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 23, 2013 at 8:08 am

Thanks, JRM -- here's a very long panel discussion video, including both Brill and the Castlight CEO. Prepare your blood for boiling.

Web Link


Posted by JRM, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm

This is probably the most important thread on the forum....but folks don't care until they need to. All the "OBAMACARE" nonsense aside, as the CEO of Safeway Steve Burd once said..."Suppose you walked through a grocery store and grabbed what you felt you needed off the shelf, did not see a price, and got a bill 60 days later for what your 20% co pay was...and you had no means of comparative shopping"
As he said....I cannot run my business that way, John Muir Medical Center can" The average American knows nothing of the emerging "Accountable Care Organizations" but they should....another subject.


Posted by Frank, a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

Interesting Obammy and his ilk are exempt from this fiasco. Republicans trying to put forth a bill that would put the king and his close minions on the SAME -blame Bush.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

I'm (actually not) sorry, Frank, but you lost me at "Obammy." If you're going to use an oh-so-thinly veiled racial slur, why not sign your real, full name to it -- so your friends and other adolescents can have a good snicker and properly credit its source?

It used to be that folks would have hide behind a mask, walk in the woods, and maybe form a mob to freely express racial hatred. Now, all you have to do is hide behind a pseudonym and spew forth on the web. Ain't modern life grand?


Posted by Dave, a resident of Danville
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Frankie must be from a much earlier generation. Use of the word, "ilk," is largely relegated to McCarthyites and John Birchers.


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