Time Magazine Shines a Light on Healthcare Costs

People cannot believe how much their health insurance costs.
And we don’t blame any of them. We can’t believe how much our personal plans cost us each month. (What, you thought we got a discount? Puh-leaze.)
The answer is actually pretty simple: Health insurance costs a lot because healthcare costs a lot.
Time Magazine has just published a “special report” that dives into the price of healthcare and attempts to shed some light on the ridiculous cost of healthcare. The report, called “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing us” is long, detailed, and eye opening. Everyone should read it.
Americans spend more money on healthcare than any other country in the world. In fact, we spend more than the next ten biggest spenders combined. The report examines real bills accumulated by real Americans and compares them with what a lot of the goods and services should actually cost.
Here’s an excerpt:

When you look behind the bills that Sean Recchi and other patients receive, you see nothing rational — no rhyme or reason — about the costs they faced in a marketplace they enter through no choice of their own. The only constant is the sticker shock for the patients who are asked to pay.
“Yet those who work in the health care industry and those who argue over health care policy seem inured to the shock. When we debate health care policy, we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question: Why exactly are the bills so high?
“What are the reasons, good or bad, that cancer means a half-million- or million-dollar tab? Why should a trip to the emergency room for chest pains that turn out to be indigestion bring a bill that can exceed the cost of a semester of college? What makes a single dose of even the most wonderful wonder drug cost thousands of dollars? Why does simple lab work done during a few days in a hospital cost more than a car? And what is so different about the medical ecosystem that causes technology advances to drive bills up instead of down?
“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.”

There’s much, MUCH more in the article. Check it out.