The Daily Show Features TIME Health Care Exposé

Jon Stewart responds to the government investigation into outrageous pricing in the U.S. health care system launched in the wake of Steve Brill's special exposé.

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The government’s response to TIME’s exposé on the state of the U.S. health care system was featured on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Monday. Following Steve Brill’s Bitter Pill special investigation into how hospitals price services, a state probe was launched into comparative medical costs for the top 100 procedures across 3,000 hospitals nationwide.

Brill revealed that health care providers offer services at prices that often bear very little relationship to costs. A secret double-pricing menu called the ‘charge master’ — a comprehensive list of services, procedures, equipment fees, drugs, supplies and diagnostic evaluations — is used to calculate bills sent to patients or a health insurance companies.

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(MOREBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us)

The subsequent government investigation also found huge discrepancies in the price of performing identical procedures. Treating a heart attack with no complications at Danville, Ark. cost $3,334 compared to a whopping $92,057 in Modesto, Cal. And vastly different prices were even being charged within the same state; a pacemaker in Livingston, N.J., costs $70,712 but $101,945 in nearby Rahway.

Brill argues this results in outrageous pricing and egregious profits destroying the industry. Jon Stewart makes the same point by donning a wizard’s hat to satirize how hospitals go about setting prices through magical spells and incantations.

MORE‘Bitter Pill’ Investigation Yields Better Bill Information

WATCHSteven Brill on Rising Medical Costs

GRAPHICWhat Makes Health Care So Expensive?

3 comments
DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

There is no question, the Tea Party, as a conservative group, has been damaged by the IRS's actions. They are culpable, and, therefore, must attempt to repair the damage.

I am thinking about a class action suit that will create a section in the IRS directly tasked to facilitate all not-for-profit groups in obtaining their 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4)tax status within two weeks of filing, and to display these newly created political groups on an interactive web map, so that others may follow their lead.

In addition, a judge advocate to be assigned to directly oversee this program to insure any and all political groups are dealt with according to the law equally.

ex animo

davidfarrar

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

As usual, Stewart creates more informative presentations every day than most media does in a week. I hope you're taking notes, Time.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Props to Steve Brill and TIME for an excellent issue of TIME for Adults!

Let's have more issues and stories like this!

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